AMP Ltd. half-year profit falls 3 percent to $355M

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Sydney, Australia (4E) – AMP Ltd. said its half-year profit declined 3 percent as cost-cutting expenses and investment losses more than offset growth from business units.

Net income for the six months ended June 30 dropped to 382mn Australian dollars ($355mn) from 393mn Australian dollars from the previous year, according to the Sydney-based firm’s report released Thursday. The profit was short of the analysts’ forecast of 410.8mn Australian dollars, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Underlying profit advanced 16 percent from a year ago to 510mn Australian dollars, Australia’s largest life insurer said.

AMP Chief Executive Craig Meller is focused on cutting costs. Last year, the company launched a three-year cost reduction program with a target of 200mn Australian dollars in pretax savings by end-2016. The plan includes outsourcing of back office operations and investment in technology.

First-half profit at AMP’s wealth management division rose 16 percent to 183mn Australian dollars, while its bank profit climbed 11 percent and its insurance unit posted a 42 percent rise. AMP Capital, the company’s fund management business, saw a 12 percent increase 144bn Australian dollars as of June 30, according to the company’s filing on Thursday.

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