Polar Capital warns over "market weakness"

HEDGE fund firm Polar Capital warned markets could remain weak as it reported profits above expectations and confirmed that an inflow of client money had helped its assets under management rebound.

The firm, which has seen assets fall sharply during the credit crisis, said pre-tax profit for the year to March fell by three-quarters to £3.1m compared with a year ago, although it was above analysts' forecasts of around £2.8m.

"There remain substantial economic and political issues for the markets to deal with and further weakness in markets cannot be ruled out," the firm said in a statement.

"Whilst we remain confident in our own direction and strategy for growth we would expect the external environment to remain challenging during much of fiscal 2011."

Assets – on which fund firms earn fees – rose 15 per cent in the first three months of the year to £1.7bn at the end of March, as clients returned to its funds.