F&C cost trimming bears fruit as it bounces back into the black

Michael Bow
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F&C ASSET Management’s lengthy turnaround gathered pace yesterday after it said aggressive cost-cutting at the company had helped increase half-year profits.

The FTSE-250 business, which wants to slash about £50m from its budget by 2015, said it made a statutory pre-tax profit of about £9m for the six months to June after cutting operating costs by 10 per cent in the period.

F&C was taken over in a boardroom coup by activist investor Edward Bramson in 2011 with a promise to revive the fund manager’s fortunes.

Yesterday it said revenues were up nearly five per cent in the period, led by its hundred year-old TR Property Investment Trust, which added the bulk of performance fees.

“As a business F&C is now more competitive and more profitable,” chief executive Richard Wilson, who was appointed by Bramson last year, said.

The business also won a healthy share of new business from retail punters and pension funds in the period. The upbeat set of results sent shares rallying six per cent.

Funds under management saw outflows of £7.2bn due to a mandate loss from Friends Life, leaving total assets down six per cent to £92.3bn.