AJ Bell has enjoyed soaring profits and inflows this year as non-professional investors turned to the platform in record numbers.
The online stockbroker grew assets under administration to £72.8bn, up from £56.5bn at the end of 2020, as retail customers increased by 87,450 during the year ending 30 September to stand above 382,750. Alongside its standout financials the company today announced a change in its leadership with Peter Birch, set to join the company as chief financial officer from Deloitte where he is currently a financial services audit and assurance partner.
Commenting on AJ Bell’s standout results chief executive Andy Bell, said: “we continue to see significant long-term opportunities in the investment platform market.
“The pandemic has highlighted the need for people to take more control over their financial future, with increasing numbers of people investing for the first time,” he continued, referring to the large numbers of retail investors who took to trading from the comfort of their own homes under lockdown.
The main driver of the company’s growth was its DIY platform business, which had underlying net inflows of £7.0bn, this was partially offset by net outflows of £0.6bn in the non-platform business, following the decision to close a small institutional stockbroking service and focus services on retail.
Total revenue increased by 15 per cent during the period from £126.7m to £145.8m, driven by a significant growth in the customer base and assets under administration, with the macroeconomic backdrop having a mixed impact on the results. Profit before tax (PBT) increased broadly in line with revenue by 13 per cent from £48.6m to £55.1m.
Incoming chief finance officer Peter Birch said it is an “exciting time” to join the business. “I have followed the progress of AJ Bell for many years and have always been impressed by its strong culture and customer focus which has enabled it to grow into one of the UK’s leading investment platforms,” he said.
Despite the bumper results AJ Bell’s share price is down 8.29 per cent over the past six months.