Aberdeen Asset Management profits edge up after Scottish Widows acquisition

Billy Ehrenberg
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Aberdeen Asset Management's chief executive, Martin Gilbert (Source: Getty)

Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) posted slightly higher profits as it said it had weathered a "volatile" year.

Figures for the year to the end of September showed underlying profit before tax of £490.3m, up from £482.7m last year. Statutory profit before tax fell from £390.3m last year to £354.6m, partly because of the purchase of investment group Scottish Widows (SWIP) from Lloyds in March.

The group said results had been affected by uncertainty in financial markets, adding that it expected conditions to remain uncertain given prospective changes in interest rates and the broader economic environment.

The "volatile" year included clients pulling £8.8bn in funds earlier in the year, causing AAM's share price to drop over five per cent.

Nevertheless, AAM, which now has £324.4bn of group funds under management and advice, said it will recommend a dividend of 11.2p a share, making a total payment for the year of 18p per share. The figure is 12.5 per cent higher than last year.

Martin Gilbert, AAM’s chief executive, said the company’s performance had been robust:

We have delivered robust performance this year in a more challenging environment, underpinned by our long-term track record and also our transformational acquisition of SWIP, which has diversified the group. The first half of the year was particularly demanding, as investor sentiment turned sharply against emerging market economies. Recently, however, we have seen those concerns abate and outflows from our Asian and emerging market funds have moderated.

Gilbert also said that the group’s acquisition and integrations of Scottish Widows was on schedule:

Markets are likely to remain volatile given the uncertain economic and interest rate environment but our new financial year has started well with our broadened product range attracting interest from a range of clients. We will continue to apply our philosophy of long-term fundamental investing to meet the objectives of our clients.

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