Challenger has signalled direct engagement with prospective new customers on the back of posting a $214 million increase in statutory net profit after tax for the first half year ending in December 2019.
The company said it would be reshaping its business with a stronger focus on more direct engagement with prospective clients and increased support for advisers in a response to the evolving wealth management market.
Announcing its results for H1 2019, the group said its assets under management (AUM) grew 10% to $86 billion on the prior corresponding period. At the same time, its normalised net profit after tax was down $8 million to $191 million due to a higher effective tax rates however the growth in statutory net profit after tax reflected positive investment experience of $38 million, which represented the valuation movements on assets and liabilities supporting the life business.
Funds management earnings were supported by strong growth in retail and institutional flows in H119 and included $1.9 billion of net flows by Fidante Partners.
Challenger’s managing director and chief executive, Richard Howes, said: “In our life business, strong Japanese and Australian institutional sales have offset lower domestic sales, which continue to be impacted by disruption in the financial advice market.
“In funds management, exceptional retail flows together with institutional inflows boosted earnings momentum, with net flows of $1.9 billion for the half.
“We see a significant opportunity in engaging more directly with prospective customers and increase support for advisers to better meet customers’ needs.
As far as the FY20 outlook was concerned, the firm said its normalised net profit before tax was expected to be around the top end of its guidance range of $500 million to $550 million. The full year dividend was expected to remain unchanged from FY19 at 35.5 cents per share, it said.