Aberdeen rides high on equity market revivial

Michael Bow
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ABERDEEN Asset Management yesterday posted thumping interim profits after an upswing in equity markets and investor risk-taking, helping send its share price to an all-time high.

The FTSE 100 listed money manager received £486.2m in net fee revenues for the six months ending March, helping drive a 25 per cent surge in overall revenues.

It reported a 37 per cent increase in underlying pre-tax profits versus a year ago, to £223m.

The firm hinted it would use the boom in business to return more cash back to shareholders in future.

Aberdeen’s net cash pile boost – £639m at the end of March versus £209m a year earlier – helped the investment house hike interim dividends 36 per cent to 6p.

It said it was committed to a “progressive” dividend policy.

Chief executive Martin Gilbert also told City A.M. yesterday Aberdeen had ruled out bidding for Lloyds’ asset management business Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. “We’ve said we’re not currently interested in big acquisitions,” he said.

Assets under management increased by 13 per cent over six months, helped by £7.8bn of new money from investors into equities but inflows slowed a little in March compared to January and February.

Aberdeen was the top riser on markets yesterday, shooting up just over eight per cent to finish the day at 450.5p.