AMP cancels dividend, Ares drops bid
AMP shareholders won't be receiving a final dividend for 2020 after the financial services provider endured a tough 12 months and takeover talks with Ares Management fell through.
AMP was advised overnight by US-based Ares that it will not be proceeding with its $1.85 per share takeover bid, but talks surrounding AMP Capital continue.
Releasing its full-year results on Thursday, AMP reported an underlying net profit of $295 million, compared with $439 million the previous year, reflecting the impacts of COVID-19 on its clients, its business, the broader economy and financial markets.
"2020 was a tough year across the world," AMP chief executive Francesco De Ferrari said in a statement.
"True to our long-term purpose, AMP stepped up to support our clients navigate the uncertainty, providing early access to their super, pauses on their mortgage repayments, relief on their rent, and advice and guidance when needed."
The board's decision not to declare a final dividend follows a $344 million payout to shareholders in the form of a 10 cents per share special dividend in the first half of 2020.
But the board is committed to restarting the group's capital management initiatives including the payment of dividends, share buyback and other capital initiatives in 2021.
"This is subject to the completion of its portfolio review, market conditions and business performance," AMP said.
Assets under management in its Australian wealth management arm were down eight per cent and AMP Capital was down seven per cent, reflecting volatile investment markets and net cash outflows.
This included the Australian government's early release of super program amounting to $1.8 billion.
Around 80 per cent of AMP Bank's mortgage clients that deferred repayments during COVID-19 have resumed or are in the process of restarting payments.
AMP's statutory bottom-line result was a profit of $177 million, which was a turnaround from 2019's $2.5 billion loss.
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