Quilter boosts profits despite challenging market conditions

Jessica Clark
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Quilter chief executive Paul Feeney

Wealth management firm Quilter reported increased profits last year despite challenging market conditions.

The figures

Shares rose six per cent this morning as the firm reported that profit before tax was up 11 per cent to £233m, in its full-year results to the end of December 2018.

Read more: Quilter blames market for fall in cash inflows in third quarter

Assets under management shrank four per cent from £114.4bn at the end of 2017, to £109.3bn last year.

Outflows were £12bn, up from £11bn, and sales for the group hit £14.7bn, down from £17.3bn in 2017.

Total fee revenue was £788m, an increase of eight per cent from £728m the previous year.

Earnings per share were also up on the previous year, rising 15 per cent to 12.3p.

The company announced a final dividend of 3.3p per share.

Why it’s interesting

Quilter, formally known as Old Mutual Wealth, split from parent company Old Mutual in June last year and listed in London and Johannesburg.

The company is in the soft-launch phase of its UK platform transition programme and expected to migrate to the new platform in Autumn this year, which will allow it to widen its product offering and target a broader and higher net wealth customer base in the UK.

It is expecting the project to hit the upper end of the £120m to £160m target range.

What Quilter said

Chief executive Paul Feeney said: “Quilter performed well in 2018 despite increasingly challenging market conditions as the year progressed. We are delighted to report record profit with adjusted profit up 11 per cent and adjusted diluted earnings per share up 15 per cent.

Read more: Quilter posts strong debut profits after growth in new client money

“Although deteriorating investor sentiment over the course of the year made net client cash flows more challenging, the resilience in our integrated flows demonstrated that our business model is generating real traction with our customers. 2019 will again be an important year for our business.

“We will substantially implement our new UK platform, progress our optimisation plans which will help to drive up our operating margin in 2020 and 2021, and we will increase numbers of advisers and investment managers to deliver high quality solutions that our customers need.”