Clients add £6.1bn to F&C funds

F&C ASSET Management reported its first net fund inflow in five years yesterday but provided little new detail on its future under new chairman Edward Bramson.

Investors lodged £6.1bn with F&C in 2010, creating a net £272m inflow and taking funds under management eight per cent higher to £105.8bn, from £97.8bn in 2009.

Chief executive Alain Grisay said the 76 per cent rise in gross inflows from 2009’s level showed “growing momentum building up.”

“It does please us but it is not a surprise to us as it is an improving trend,” he said.

But he said a review of F&C’s strategy launched last month after a boardroom coup that saw chairman Nick Macandrew ousted and Bramson voted in, would only be published in several months. “It is not done in a rush as there is no need to come to the rescue of the business,” he said.

Earnings per share rose slightly to 5.9p, from 5.8p in 2009 and above forecasts for 5.7p. Pre-tax profit of £46.7m also narrowly exceeded forecasts of £46.5m. Operating loss was £3.1m, down from £5.9bn in 2009.

Analysts said F&C’s stock remained risky as uncertainty over its future could put off customers. F&C’s shares closed down 3.27 per cent at 82.7p.