New Zealand insurer and fund manager Tower Ltd on Thursday reported a 23 percent rise in full-year profit on growth in its core businesses.

Net profit for the the year to Sept. 30 was NZ$50 million ($36.5 million) compared with last year's NZ$40.5 million, which included a tax credit.

The result included a non-cash gain of NZ$3.1 million from the accounting treatment of life insurance policies.

The company declared a final dividend of 9 cents a share compared with last year's 8 cents a share.

Shares in Tower, which is also listed in Australia, closed on Wednesday at NZ$1.82. So far this year the stock has gained around 23 percent against a 15 percent rise for the benchmark NZX-50 index .NZ50.

The company had made no forecast but said last month it expected a result in line with analysts' forecasts, despite a likely net cost of NZ$3.5 million arising from claims for the tsunami that hit Samoa and American Samoa.

A Reuters survey showed a median forecast profit of around NZ$46 million.

Tower is the third-largest retail fund manager in New Zealand and the second-largest health insurer.

Formerly operating as one company in New Zealand and Australia, it split into separate listed companies in November 2006, as the two companies followed different business strategies.

Earnings from all its three divisions was higher with general insurance income up nearly 17 percent, health and life insurance about 20 percent higher, and returns from the funds management operation jumping 57 percent.

In September, the company bolstered its balance sheet through a NZ$81 million share issue. ($1=NZ$1.37)