Challenger's Brian Benari. Photo: Nic Walker
FUND Manager Challenger's share price rose as much as 11¢ to $3.30 after it announced a share buyback at its annual meeting.
It will spend up to $50 million over the next six months to buy back up to 3 per cent of its shares on issue.
In his maiden speech as chief executive, Brian Benari also told shareholders that Challenger was well positioned to achieve its 2013 targets of a 15 per cent increase in retail annuity sales to $2.25 billion, or cash operating earnings of up to $450 million in its life business - up from $436 million in 2011-12.
Challenger's net profit fell by 43 per cent to $148.5 million in the 2011-12 financial year mainly due to the decrease in the value of managed investments in its funds management arm.
''We expect the 2012 negative investment experience to largely reverse over time, because the assets are of high quality and we typically hold them through to maturity,'' Mr Benari said.
Challenger's share price has suffered in the past year from poor investor sentiment as well as uncertainties around capital requirements.