Macquarie posts solid first half result


By Sarah Kendell

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Macquarie Group has posted a solid result for the first half of its 2018 financial year, reaping the benefits of the sale of its life insurance business while its adviser platform continued to perform strongly.

In a statement released last week, the banking group announced a net profit after tax of $1.25 billion for the six months to September 2017, up 19 per cent on the prior corresponding period.

The group’s annuity style businesses, including Macquarie Asset Management, Banking and Financial Services and Corporate and Asset Finance, were responsible for 80 per cent of its first half performance and recorded a 30 per cent profit increase compared to the previous six months.

Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services division recorded a profit of $286 million, up 10 per cent from the prior corresponding period, as the group benefited from the sale of its life insurance business to Zurich and saw a 9 per cent increase in funds on platform compared to the six months to September 2016.

In Macquarie Asset Management, the group saw increased performance fee income due to the strong performance of its infrastructure funds, which offset the slight decline in assets under management to $472 billion, down 2 per cent from the prior corresponding period.

Macquarie chief executive Nicholas Moore said the group remained well positioned with a strong global platform and deep expertise across a range of products and asset classes.

“This [expertise] is built on the foundation of a strong balance sheet, surplus capital, a robust liquidity and funding position and a conservative approach to risk management which is embedded across all operating groups,” he said.

The group said it expected a slight profit increase looking toward its full year results, subject to market conditions and regulatory changes.

It also announced a range of management and board changes, including the appointment of former Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens to the bank’s board, and the retirement of chief risk officer Stephen Allen after 25 years in the role.

Current chief financial officer Patrick Upfold would replace Allen, while Macquarie Capital global head of principal transactions Alex Harvey would be promoted to chief financial officer, Macquarie said.

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