FTSE 100 asset manager Abrdn ruled out further investment in Russia and Belarus today, as it posted a jump in operating profits and growth in revenues for the first time since its merger with Standard Life in 2017.
Abrdn boss Stephen Bird said the firm would not invest in either Russia or Belarus “for the foreseeable future” and said it had actively worked to reduce its holdings in both countries in recent weeks.
It came as the firm updated the city on its annual results today, with operating profits jumping to £323m last year, up from £219m in 2020, despite a more modest six per cent rise in revenue to £1.5bn.
The profits boost came as bosses drilled down cost income ratio to 79 per cent, down from 85 per cent in 2020.
Abrdn boss Stephen Bird said the results mark a milestone for the firm as revenues grew for the first time since the asset managers’ merger.
“This was our reset year,” Bird said. “In 2021 we set out a clear strategy for how we will create long-term sustainable growth and arrest the decline in revenue.
“Today I am very pleased to report strong progress for this first year of our three year plan. We are delivering on our strategy for growth.”
Bird said the firm was now making major strides forward on the firm’s growth plan by divesting non-core assets and building out its capabilities across private markets.
He said Abrdn was also “sharpening the focus” of its investment business to identify the key areas where we have a true competitive advantage.
Shareholders will see no change in payouts this year as dividend payments remain at 14.6p per share from 2020.
The results today mark the first full year results since the firm rebranded as Abrdn from Standard Life Aberdeen last year.
Bosses said the new name was “modern” and “dynamic” but the move drew much mockery from onlookers. Laith Khalaf, a financial analyst at AJ Bell, said the new name would leave investors feeling “dazed and confused”.