Impax sees assets and profits rise

IMPAX Asset Management, the environmental specialist, said it would look to grow its second private equity fund to around €300m (£258m) as it revealed strong first-half results.

Chief executive Ian Simm said there was scope to double commitments to New Energy Investors II, which has so far raised €141m to invest in renewable power projects, before the final close.

His comments came as the group announced assets under management rose 40 per cent to £1.8bn by the end of April. The bulk of the increase came from client inflows, indicating growing investor confidence in what is still seen as an esoteric asset class, while rising stockmarkets accounted for a smaller proportion.

Pre-tax profits were up 70 per cent to £1.7m on revenues up 40 per cent to £6.3m. However, finance director Charlie Ridge said inflows gathered pace toward the end of the half, meaning the run rate was “considerably” higher than the revenue rate.

Simm said $500bn (£350bn) of stimulus earmarked for environmentally friendly businesses by governments around the world would continue to the buoy the sector for the coming 18 months. Following that he said actively moving money between stocks would become more important to sidestep the unwind effect .

Simm said: “May has again proved to be a turbulent month, and volatility in European markets has jumped up quite rapidly so at the moment it’s very hard to be bullish about the direction of stockmarkets over the next six months. But investors are taking the view that environmental markets will outperform over that timeframe.”

Shares in Impax closed down 2.7 per cent at 49p.