AMP feels the pinch from life insurance markets

AMP  (ASX: AMP) reported its audited and finalized half-year 2013 earnings today, making more from less for investors. Underlying profit took a seasonally adjusted $48 million dip to $440 million for the first half of 2013, due primarily to tough times in the life insurance market and lower underlying investment income. The company’s wealth protection division saw operating earnings drop a whopping 52% to just $64 million.

But on net profit, AMP pulled through. The company recorded net profit of $393 million, up 5.4% from 1H 2012’s $373 million. AMP is aware that it can’t let its top line tail forever, and is launching a business efficiency program to tighten its financial situation. The program will cost around $320 million over the next three and a half years, but should start churning out around $200 million in annual pre-tax run-rate cost savings by 2017. The company’s interim dividend took a slight one cent dip to 11.5 cents compared to 2012’s interim distribution.

AMP also announced the appointment of Craig Meller as CEO, starting in 2014. Meller has served as Managing Director of Financial Services since 2007, and has been with AMP since 2001. For the remainder of his time, current CEO Craig Dunn doesn’t exactly plan to sit on his haunches: ““We will increase the scale and pace of change in our core business, using our expertise and Australia’s largest adviser footprint, to respond to consumers’ demands for greater control, transparency, simplicity, convenience and value,” said Dunn in a statement.

AMP is making moves to maximize your portfolio’s profit – and it’s not the only one. The Australian Financial Review says “good quality Australian shares that have a long history of paying dividends are a real alternative to a term deposit.” Get “3 Stocks for the Great Dividend Boom” in our special FREE report. Click here now to find out the names, stock symbols, and full research for our three favourite income ideas, all completely free!

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Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.

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