Challenger hikes FY profit

Funds manger confident of 2014 performance, fund under management soars to $44.8bn.

Funds manager Challenger (CGF) says it is confident of a strong 2014 after delivering a rise in full-year statutory net profit to $417 million, up from $149 million. Normalised profit was up 4 per cent to $309 million.

Underlying net income for the period was $308.5 million, well above analyst forecasts for around $292.5 million.

The company said that record flows into its annuities and fund management businesses increased funds under management by 34% to $44.8 billion.

An ageing population looking for longer term income products helped drive the result. Chief Executive Brian Benari said, "our annuities business continues to prosper as baby boomers retire and seek security and regular income. An ageing population, market uncertainty and product innovation are countering any effect of a lower interest rate environment."

Revenue for the year rose 10.9% to $1.59 billion, with annuity sales up 18%, and funds management inflow up 33% to $41.1 billion to make Challenger the ninth largest fund manager in Australia.

Challenger declared an unfranked full year dividend of 20 cents per share, up 11% from 2012.