Volatility impacts Challenger result

Challenger Limited has reflected current challenging market conditions, reporting a significant first-half profit decline.

The company reported a 97 per cent decrease in statutory net profit after tax to $6 million, translating to a four per cent declined in normalised net profit after tax of $200 million.

The company declared a fully-franked interim dividend of 17.5 cents per share.

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Commenting on the result, Challenger chief executive, Richard Howes said that they reflected the current challenging operating environment but argued that the company was well placed to respond to the market and capture opportunities for future growth.

“Our results for the first half have clearly been impacted by the difficult operating environment we’re experiencing, with increased market volatility, industry disruption and political uncertainty playing out across the sector,” he said.

“While some of these factors are beyond our control, the fundamentals underpinning our business remain supportive. We continue to target a growing market of retirees, we have the leading retirement income brand in the country and our capital position remains very strong,” Howes said.

The company’s analysis said it was continuing to make progress implementing its strategy to take advantage of the broad demographic tailwinds behind Australia’s growing retirement income market and described the firm’s product offering as appealing for retirees.

Looking over the horizon, the company said that reflecting the current operating conditions, it expected a 2019 financial year net profit before tax to be between $545 million and $565 million, reflecting a number of factors including lower than expected first half year earnings and the flow on effects in the second half.


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