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Perpetual sees benefits of restructure

Fund manager Perpetual's first half profit has grown by 19 per cent as it continues to cut costs.

Perpetual made a net profit of $27.3 million in the six months to December 31, up from $22.9 million in the previous corresponding period.

Under its new chief executive Geoff Lloyd, Perpetual has begun a three-year restructure program aimed at achieving $50 million in pre-tax savings each year.

The program produced restructure costs of $6 million in the six months to December, and the associated closure of its Dublin operations also produced other one-off financial impacts.

In the previous corresponding period, Perpetual incurred higher restructure costs and greater losses on the sale of assets.

The company's underlying profit, which excludes the impacts of the restructure, was $35.1 million in the six months to December, up two per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Mr Lloyd said inflows to its funds under management improved in January and February, as investment market conditions improved.

"Total market flows excluding cash went into positive territory in the September 2012 quarter for the first time after a full year of negative net flows, but it may take a prolonged period of market stability to fully rebuild investor sentiment and create a sustained recovery in flows," he said in a statement.

The restructure is on track to achieve its cost-saving targets, Mr Lloyd added.

Perpetual will pay a fully-franked interim dividend of 50 cents per share, unchanged from the same time in the previous year.