Fund manager Polar Capital basks in warmth of profit rise

FUND manager Polar Capital posted a jump in profits yesterday after winning $1bn of net inflows over the last year.

The AIM-listed firm, which is based in London, said profits for the year to 31 March rose five per cent to £9.6m.

Assets under management climbed to $5.08bn (£3.27bn), up 31 per cent on the previous year.

Polar, which has large funds investing in Japan, Europe, Britain and the financials and technology sectors, said that seven of its eight long-only funds were in the top quartile of performance.

Meanwhile four of its six hedge funds made money.

Polar, set up in 2001, said core operating profit excluding performance fees leapt 97 per cent to £7.1m.

Basic earnings per share rose 10 per cent to 9.48p.

Chief executive Tim Woolley said: “Assuming market conditions do not deteriorate further, we are well positioned for further significant growth in the year ahead.”

The results come after a turbulent period for the fund management industry, parts of which have struggled to keep pace with the market swings caused by the long-running Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

Woolley declined to give details of fund flows since March, but said it was “a reasonable assumption” that inflows seen in the year to March had continued.

Mark Williamson, an analyst at Peel Hunt, who rates the stock a “hold”, said Polar’s results had met his expectations.