August 12, 2021

By Soumyajit Saha

(Reuters) -Australia’s AMP Ltd said on Thursday its attributable profit for the first half decreased by over one-fourths, as it took a hit to earnings from the AMP Capital and Australian wealth management divisions.

The wealth manager said profit attributable for the six months ended June 30 fell more than 28% to A$146 million ($107.66 million), from the A$203 million reported a year ago, and was holding back any dividends.

The flagship Australian wealth management division also reported cash outflows of A$2.7 billion, an improvement on the A$4 billion reported last year in the absence of certain one-off costs from that time.

The 172-year old company has been embroiled in a spate of scandals surrounding its practices and corporate culture, the latest being a lawsuit for charging pensioners ‘fees for no service’, even as it attempts to divest and simplify its portfolio.

AMP said it would review the payment of dividends, as well as its capital management strategy, after completing the demerger of AMP Capital’s Private Markets business, slated in the first half of 2022.

Besides the demerger of the Capital Private Markets business, AMP is also set to sell its global equities and fixed income business to Macquarie Group.

The company added it was on-track to deliver A$300 million of annual run-rate cost savings by fiscal 2022.

($1 = 1.3561 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha and Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Rashmi Aich)

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