Perpetual posts strong result

Perpetual Limited has recorded a significant jump in profits as its advice business undergoes a restructure and headcount losses.

The group posted its annual results to the Australian Securities Exchange this morning, showing a 128 per cent increase in statutory net profit after tax to $61 million in the last financial year — which was mostly attributable to the group's Transformation 2015 program and improving market conditions.

The group's advice business — Perpetual Private — has implemented a new client platform, restructured its advice model and carried out a significant reduction in personnel, which the company said would pave the way for "a new and more efficient financial services business targeting high net worth individuals".

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Perpetual Private's profit before tax was $9.2 million, 11 per cent higher than in financial year 2012.

Funds under advice were also up by 13 per cent to $9 billion.

"Key accomplishments for the year include an improvement in net flows by $300 million and a full year's contribution from the new Super Wrap product which was launched in April 2012, with financial year 2013 sales of around $200 million," the group said.

The investment business posted a 21 per cent increase in profit, with a significant improvement in net flows. The group's Australian equity funds returned to net inflows for the first time since the second half of 2006, Perpetual stated.

Perpetual is continuing to implement its Transformation 2015 program, which has seen 535 redundancies since the end of financial year 2012, the introduction of a new client platform into Perpetual Private and the transition of IT arrangements.

The next phase of the program will include the last stage of IT outsourcing, as well as an increased focus on the group's property footprint.

Perpetual will also continue to pursue the Trust Company, despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission recently expressing concerns that the proposed acquisition would entrench Perpetual's position in a number of market areas.

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