Aberdeen warns of a hung parliament as profits treble

ABERDEEN Asset Management warned of the perils of a hung parliament yesterday even as it delighted markets by tripling its pre-tax profits.

Chief executive Martin Gilbert told City A.M. the board was “very pleased” with the 181 per cent jump in underlying earnings to £92.6m in the six months to 31 March.

But Gilbert said: “The outlook for the next six months depends on what happens in the election. If it’s a hung parliament there’ll be uncertainty until things get sorted out.”

Aberdeen’s shares rose 3.9 per cent to 143.40 after the Scottish fund manager’s half-yearly results demolished analyst expectations. Investors were encouraged by a 14 per cent hike in the group’s interim dividend to 3.2p per share.

Aberdeen said its performance was underpinned by recovering equity markets and improved flows of clients’ cash into higher-margin products such as actively managed funds.

Recurring fee income rose by £26m per annum while total assets under management were up 16.9 per cent to £170.9bn. The group managed to cut its bank debt 88.9 per cent to £20m.

After an acquisitions spree, Gilbert ruled out any imminent takeovers.