BT Financial Group posts flat FY18 earnings

BT Financial Group has recorded underlying cash earnings of $786 million for fiscal 2018, little changed from a cash profit of $782 million in the previous year, with the result supported by solid revenue growth across the business.

The financial services firm said the result reflected an increase in funds, solid growth in the corporate super for life insurance and lower weather-related claims in general insurance which were partly offset by margin compression from price reductions and lower advice revenue.

BT said its performance was impacted by one-off items totalling $141 million after tax, including a $102-million provision for customer refunds and payments and a $39-million provision for the cost of running the remediation program.

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After these items, BT said cash earnings stood at $645 million, a fall of 12 per cent on fiscal 2017.

Chief executive Brad Cooper said that BT, which in fiscal 2018 addressed several legacy issue including putting an end to grandfathered payments for its advice customers, has maintained its number one market share position on all retail platforms.

BT also saw funds under administration on its flagship Panorama platform grow 85 per cent on the prior year to $12.4 billion, as well as continued insurance premium growth and growth in its Private Wealth business.

Panorama’s registered investors doubled to more than 23,000 on the prior year, with the platform also maintaining its position as the highest rated platform for mobile access and its mobile app among financial advisers.

“We have also made important investments in digitisation and simplification across the business as we continue to meet the needs and preferences of customers and advisers. This included the addition of Challenger Annuities and CMA Saver, a cash management account with no admin or transaction fees, to our customer offering,” Cooper said.

Life Insurance saw in-force premium growth of 20 per cent and Home and Contents premium growth of 3 per cent in the general insurance business, BT said.

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