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AMP 1H earnings creep ahead of forecast, appoints Craig Meller as CEO from next year

Thursday 15th August 2013

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AMP posted a 10 percent drop in first-half underlying earnings, beating its guidance in June when the dual-listed financial services firm warned its wealth protection business struggled in the second quarter. Separately AMP said Craig Meller will take the top job next year.

Earnings fell to A$440 million in the six months ended June 30, from A$488 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement. That was just above the A$415 million to A$435 million range AMP forecast in June when it faced poor claims and policy lapses in its Australian wealth protection unit. That unit reported a 52 percent slump in earnings to A$64 million.

Net profit rose to A$393 million, or 13.5 Australian cents per share, from A$373 million, or 13.1 cents, in 2012. Investment revenue, which includes unrealised gains, jumped 36 percent to A$6.49 billion, while life insurance premium revenue edged up 3.2 percent to A$1.1 billion and fee revenue rose 5.2 percent to A$1.17 billion.

The board declared an interim dividend of 11.5 Australian cents per share, down from 12.5 cents in 2012. The shares fell 1 percent to $5.10 on the NZX, and were yet to trade on the ASX at A$4.54.

The firm's directors also appointed Meller as AMP's next chief executive, effective form Jan. 1 next year when incumbent Craig Dunn retires. Meller has been with AMP since 2001, and is currently managing director of AMP Financial Services, a role he has held since October 2007.

The Australian wealth management earnings rose 20 percent to A$196 million in the half, Australian mature earnings gained 12 percent to A$85 million, and New Zealand financial services 21 percent to A$46 million. AMP Capital boosted earnings 13 percent to A$51 million.

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