Jupiter to give first interim dividend

City A.M. Reporter
Fund manager Jupiter has pledged its maiden interim dividend after pre-tax profits more than doubled in half-year to end-June despite a slowdown in the pace of new business as shaky stock markets rattle investors.

Jupiter, one of the UK's largest retail investment fund managers with most of its assets invested in equity, will pay a 2.5 pence interim dividend, in line with expectations of analysts at Numis Securities.

It did not pay interim dividends last year, as half-year results came shortly after its flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

Jupiter booked net inflows of £700m in its fiscal first half, down from £814m posted in the same period last year and slightly up from the 623 million pound in the first five months of this year.

Net revenues stood at £128.3m in line with estimates published in June. Profit before tax amounted to £37.3m compared with the £14.6m booked in the corresponding point last year.

Assets under management remained at £24.8m - the figure for the five months to end-May announced in a previous statement in June. Jupiter had £19.8bn at June-end 2010.

Recent stock market turmoil has inflicted heavy asset losses on equity fund managers, prompting the chief executive of rival Henderson - which posted half yearly results earlier this week - to forecast a near-term decline in investment from retail clients.

Jupiter's top employees, including chief executive Edward Bonham Carter, sold 5.7 per cent of the company's shares in June. The company's shares have fallen by around 15 per cent since the end of that month.

Bonham Carter warned "considerable uncertainty over sovereign debts and global growth on both sides of the Atlantic," would likely keep financial markets volatile but expressed confidence that the business would grow.