Profitable AMP restates interest in AXA

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AMP has declared its continuing interest in acquiring AXA Asia Pacific at the same time as reporting a 27 per cent increase in net profit attributable to shareholders to $739 million.

The company pointed out that underlying profit stood at $772 million and was down 5 per cent on the previous year.

AMP chief executive Craig Dunn said: “AXA remains strategically attractive to us. We are continuing to consider our position and will do what is in the best interests of shareholders."

His comments came at the same time as he acknowledged that industry consolidation was continuing to gather pace and that AMP expected the competitive landscape to continue to shift.

The AMP chief executive said while market volatility still existed and a full recovery would take some time, the company believed that over the medium to long term the fundamentals for the wealth management sector remained very attractive.

Looking at the company’s divisional results, Dunn said AMP Financial Services had delivered a good result with operating earnings up 2 per cent to $648 million on the back of strong banking and insurance results.

He said total net cash flows had risen 17 per cent to $1.7 billion and that the resilient net flows had reflected the strength of mandated superannuation and increased flows from the acquisition of Rabo Financial Advisers.

In contemporary wealth management, Dunn said operating earnings had risen 5 per cent to $278 million as a result of a strong performance from AMP Bank.

He also pointed to tighter cost controls across the division, which had been achieved at the same time as aligned planner practices AMP Financial Planning and Hillross had grown by 26 planners to total 811.

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