Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) hit a rare vein of market attention to become the best performer on the ASX at noon today after the quarterly result revealed the annuities plodder is on track to deliver a normalised net profit "towards the upper end" of its $430m to 480m guidance.
In addition to confirming guidance, Challenger noted that institutional and retail annuity sales drove the reported growth.
Challenger Life reported that its lifeline had witnessed a 10% lift in sales to $2.7bn.
Challenger Life remained strongly capitalised with a prescribed capital amount (PCA) ratio of 1.65 times, towards the top end of its target range of 1.3 to 1.7 times - the minimum amount set by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).
Challenger CEO Nick Hamilton attributed much of today’s strong quarterly announcement to benefits from the company’s diversification strategy.
“Product innovation remains a key priority and our market-linked annuity reflects our commitment to meeting the needs of more customers,” Hamilton noted.
Life book growth of $500m, up 2.8%, for the quarter
Group assets under management (AUM) of $106bn
Funds under management (FUM) at $100bn, down -3% for the quarter (ex-derecognition of Whitehelm Capital following its sale) due to a $1.9bn hit to investments and $1.7bn in outflows
Outflows were driven by a $1.3bn redemption by an institutional client in a low margin fixed income mandate
Domestic retail sales increased 18% to $498m
Japanese (MS Primary) annuity sales were $63m
Life’s investment assets at 31 March 2022 were $22.4bn, down -2% for the quarter
The market-linked annuity has now been added to approved product lists of key financial advice businesses and management notes initial feedback and engagement from financial advisers has been positive.
Hamilton envisages significant opportunities in both Australia and offshore for the funds management business and notes the integration of the bank - key pillar of Challenger’s diversification strategy - is well advanced.
Bank deposit sales were $59m and maturities and withdrawals $29m, resulting in net flows of $30m for the quarter, while the bank deposit book growth for the third quarter was 22.4%.
The Bank is preparing to make Challenger’s term deposits available via the broker channel, including Australian Money Market, expected in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“We expect to commence corporate and SME lending shortly, which will support sales growth and margins.”
Challenger share price today.
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