Bank shareholders brace for $0.04 dividend payment

by Melanie Mingas25 Jan 2019

The shareholders of an embattled bank are braced for their lowest dividend payment to date, with a forecast that the payment per share will sink to as low as four cents, less than half of what was predicted.

Ahead of its full year 2018 financial results – due to be published on 14 February – AMP expects to report an underlying profit of “around $680m” and profit attributable to shareholders of “approximately $30m”.

Regarding shareholders, in a statement, AMP said, “Recognising the 2H 18 performance of the business, the related capital impacts and the uncertainties in the operating environment, the board anticipates declaring a final dividend of 4 cents per share.”

AMP’s 2018 interim dividend stood at $0.10 per share (50% franked), compared to a final dividend of 14.5 cents in 2017 (90% franked) and 14 cents in 2016 (90% franked). In 2007, the final value reached 24 cents (84% franked).

Payment of the 2018 full year dividend is due on 28 March.

The news is the latest in a series of blows to AMP shareholders. Last year, they staged the largest known “first strike” ever recorded by a top 50 Australian company when, during AMP’s annual meeting, 61.5% of investors voted against the firm’s executive pay structure.

In 2018, AMP was hit with five shareholder class actions, brought by Slater & Gordon, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Phi Finney McDonald, and Shine Lawyers.

In a statement AMP said its total business unit operating earnings for the second half of 2018 are expected to be approximately $220m, comprising around $325m from the retained businesses, Australian wealth management, AMP Capital, AMP Bank and New Zealand wealth management and advice.

A net operating loss of around $105m from the businesses is subject to a sale agreement with Resolution Life.

The firm’s 2019 AGM is scheduled for Thursday 2 May.