Challenger bullish on half-year result
Challenger has announced significant strategy objectives today on the back of a strong first half result involving a 21% increase in normalised net profit before tax and a statutory net profit after tax of $282 million.
As part of its strategic outlook, the company confirmed it had entered into a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Apollo Asset Management with the intention of establishing a joint venture to building a non-bank lending business in Australia and New Zealand.
Challenger chief executive, Nick Hamilton described the move with Apollo as an exciting step and a growth opportunity.
Speaking to the half-year result, Hamilton said the firm was “well positioned to benefit from the greatest thematic opportunity of our time, retirement”.
“As the clear leader in retirement incomes, and one of the fastest growing active fund managers in the country, complemented by the strategic acquisition of our new digital bank, Challenger has a unique opportunity to meet the needs of more Australians entering and in retirement,” he said.
He said that expanding Challenger’s customer reach, broadening its distribution channels and product innovation had helped deliver record Life sales of $4.9 billion and funds management net flows of 0.9 billion.
Challenger’s announcement said it expected strong profit growth to continue and reaffirmed its guidance, with normalised net profit before tax guidance between $430 million and $490 million.
The Board declared an interim dividend of 11.5 cents per share.