SYDNEY, AAP – Financial services giant AMP has posted a 28 per cent drop in first-half net profit after weaker performances at its main wealth management and AMP Capital businesses.

The company reported net profit of $146 million for the six months to June 30, down from $203 million a year ago.

Underlying profit, which excludes one-off items, rose 57 per cent to $181 million thanks to higher investment income and a write-back in provisions at AMP Bank.

“We are starting to see some positive signs of growth and innovation, particularly in our bank and platforms businesses where we are introducing new services that our clients want,” Chief Executive Alexis George, who started in her role earlier this month, said.

The company’s board decided against paying an interim dividend and said it would maintain a conservative approach to capital management and dividends until the demerger of AMP Capital’s private markets business and future strategy are finalised.

It paid a 10 cents a share special dividend last year.

Earlier this year, AMP decided to spin off and list AMP Capital after a potential sale of the entire company to US suitor Ares Management fell through.

The private markets investment business manages about $50 billion in infrastructure and real estate assets and has a global reach extending to North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia and New Zealand.

AMP said the demerger of the unit is on track with an ASX listing expected in the first half of 2022.