Liontrust eyes profit as assets jump 60pc

ASSET MANAGER Liontrust yesterday announced that it has attracted new investors and significantly boosted its assets as it edges towards profitability.

The firm managed to grow its revenues by 54 per cent in the year to 31 March, reducing its losses from £4.6m to just £237,000, assisted by a substantial £3.4m in performance fees.

Chief executive John Ions praised his firm’s results: “We enjoyed net inflows in all four quarters in the year, totalling £152m. This has extended our sequence of net positive sales to seven successive quarters.

“Liontrust’s success is a testament to a number of factors; primarily our continued excellent fund performance. 89 per cent of Liontrust’s unit trust funds outperformed their respective sectors in the 12 months to 31 March 2012.”

Acquisitions have helped Liontrust increase its assets under management from £1.3bn in March 2011 to £2.1bn at the close of business on 18 June – a 60 per cent increase.

Most notably it received a £581m boost when it bought the fund management unit of Walker Crips for £12.3m in March.

Sarah Ing, an analyst with Singer Capital Markets, said: “Liontrust has made significant progress and has broadened into Asia and emerging markets equities, expanded sales capability in the UK and internationally. We also expect that during the course of this year, free cash flow will turn positive which offers the prospect of a return to dividend payments in due course.”

Shares in the firm closed up 1.6 per cent at 97p.