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QBE Insurance's annual profit has grown by eight per cent, lower than previously forecast due to the impact of severe droughts and storms in the United States.

The global insurance company also said it would rationalise its business to save at least $US250 million ($A243.75 million) each year from the end of 2015.

But QBE chief executive John Neal offered no detail on how those savings would be achieved.

"I will provide more detail of our new strategic direction, the progress of the operational transformation program and our targeted cost savings as we progress through 2013," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

QBE made a net profit of $US761 million ($A741.97 million) in the year to December 31, up from $US704 million in the previous corresponding period.

It had forecast a net profit of more than $US820 million ($A799.49 million).