While Link Group has reported a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $320 million, up 123 per cent on the prior corresponding period (pcp), for the year ended 30 June 2019, it has also announced an on-market share buy-back of up to 10 per cent of its issued share capital.
In its full year announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Link reported revenue of $1.4 billion and an operating net profit after tax amortisation (NPATA) of $202 million (down three per cent on pcp).
The on-market buy-back represented approximately 53 million shares with a current market value of about $262 million.
Link Group managing director, John McMurtrie, said: “We remain focused on continuing to invest across the five strategic pillars of our growth agenda to deliver long-term value for shareholders”.
“The buy-back announced today ensures that we are able to continue pursuing our strategic goals while delivering near term value for shareholders, as such the use of capital to purchase shares will be evaluated from time to time against alternative uses of capital,” he said.
Commenting on the group’s results, Link Group chair, Michael Carapiet said: “FY 2019 was a challenging year for Link Group, but the company’s operations have demonstrated resilience in the face of significant regulatory and market uncertainty”.
In terms of its Retirement and Superannuation Solutions (RSS) business, the firm cited client losses, fund consolidations, and legislative changes were “dampening financial performance in the near term”.
It said the RSS revenue for FY 2019 of $550.8 million was down on FY 2018, “however strong underlying member growth and improved fee-for-service within the division partially mitigated the impact of client losses”.
“Underlying business drivers remain strong in the Retirement and Superannuation Solutions business, with strong underlying member growth of 3.9 per cent. Link Group is well placed to capitalise on future opportunities,” McMurtrie said.