AMP slips on volatile market fears

SHARES in AMP, the acquisitive Australian fund manager and life insurer, slipped by 1.4 per cent yesterday as a stronger-than-expected first-half result was marred by fears over market volatility.

AMP, which handed out free shares to 170,000 UK policyholders when it de-mutualised last June, warned that profits for the the full year were vulnerable to falling markets.

George Trumbull, group chief executive, said forecast profits of at least A$774m (pounds 275m) for the full year were on track. But he added: "Volatility in the markets, however, makes forecasting very difficult."

Profits before exceptionals in the first half were at the top end of analysts' expectations at A$603m, helped by strong British investment markets which rose 13 per cent. But the company said it was "cautious" about the second half.

Shares on the Sydney stock market closed down 34 cents at A$21.88, slightly more than the general weakness in the Australian market. Analysts expressed disappointment at smaller-than-expected cuts in costs.

AMP owns Pearl Assurance, one of the UK's largest life insurers. But only policyholders with London Life and AMP UK have benefited from free shares.

The insurer - Australia's biggest - has been -particularly acquisitive in the UK. In April, it completed a takeover of Henderson, a UK fund manager, boosting its funds under management by A$57bn to A$172bn (pounds 62bn).

At the beginning of last year, the insurer came second to the Prudential in the race to buy Scottish Amicable, the UK life insurer which specialises in pensions sold through independent financial advisers.

It has open ambitions for further acquisitions in its home markets of Australia, New Zealand and the UK. A spokesman said: "It is fair to say we are looking out all the time and that the UK is a very important market to us. We missed out on ScotAm but got Henderson this year. We have made it clear we do have an acquisitive stance."

AMP also has a 50 per cent stake in Virgin Direct, Richard Branson's life insurance operation launched over two years ago. Funds under management at Virgin Direct rose from A$2.78bn (pounds 990m) to A$4.31bn (pounds 1,530m) in the first half.

AMP confirmed a substantial proportion of UK shareholders had already sold their shares, most of whom are believed to have held shares in trust. But more than half have kept their shares since the flotation last June.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower