First-half pre-tax profits rise to £188.2 million
Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) has reported a 51 per cent rise in first-half pre-tax profits to £188.2 million.
The fund manager said revenues for the six months to March 31 were up 25 per cent on the same period a year ago to £516 million.
Underlying profit before amortisation of intangible assets was £222.8 million (2012: £162.2 million).
Operating margins rose from 40.1 per cent last year to 43.8 per cent and recurring fee income improved by 24 per cent to £492.5 million (2012: £395.7 million).
AAM said fee income was “supplemented by £23.5 million of performance fees” (2012: £17.4 million).
Assets under management also rose by 13 per cent to £212.3 billion and the group reports net new business of £4.4 billion against a net outflow of £400 million at the same point last year.
The firm says it will raise its interim dividend to six pence per share, up 36 per cent on the 2012 interim dividend.
Chairman Roger Cornick stated in the interim update: “We remain focused on generating profitable growth and cashflow.
“We expect our strong balance sheet position and ongoing cash generation to provide us with surplus capital over time.
“I have already reiterated the board's objective of growing the dividend progressively.
“Thereafter, we will look to distribute available surplus capital to shareholders, after taking into account a comfortable level of headroom over our required regulatory capital and after investing in the development of our business, over time.
“Share buybacks will be considered provided they are earnings enhancing and in the interests of shareholders generally.”
AAM announced in January it was taking steps to slow the volume of funds coming from the emerging markets after posting a rise of £1.7 billion of net inflow in the last quarter of 2012.
Cornick said AAM has continued in its efforts to “moderate the rate of inflows” into the global emerging markets (GEM) funds “so that the quality of the product is not compromised”.
He added: “We implemented a further step from early March by closing our US-domiciled GEM mutual funds to new investors and introducing an initial charge, for the benefit of existing investors, on any new investment into our UK and Luxembourg funds.
“In the short period since implementation we have seen a moderate level of net outflows, but the early signs are that it will have the desired effect of reducing inflows to more sustainable levels.”
Commenting on the interim results, AAM chief executive Martin Gilbert said: “It has been a strong first half to the year with investors' appetite for risk assets returning.
“As a result we have seen healthy net new business flows which, combined with performance by global markets, has generated strong growth in our revenue and in profit margins.
“We remain cautious on the market outlook but believe our fundamental approach to investing will continue to serve our clients' long term needs.”