Aberdeen aims to maintain a progressive dividend policy

Aberdeen Asset Management, Europe's second largest fund manager, has just announced a 15 per cent full year increase in underlying profit before tax, to 347.8m pounds, versus 301.9m pounds a year ago.

Aberdeen Asset Management, Europe's second largest fund manager, has just announced a 15 per cent full year increase in underlying profit before tax, to 347.8m pounds, versus 301.9m pounds a year ago.

The above on an 11% increase in revenues, which reached £869.2m. Significantly, assets under management increased by 10% to £187.2bn, from last year's £169.9bn.

The firm has announced that it will pay a final dividend of 7.1p (Consensus: 6.2p), 35% more than the year ago amount, resulting in a full year pay-out of 11.5p, well ahead of last year's 9p.

Company aims to grow dividends at rate in 'mid-teens'Of interest, speaking on Bloomberg TV the company's Chief Executive, Martin Gilbert, indicated that one of his company's aims is to maintain a "progressive dividend policy", targeting a growth rate in the mid-teens.

Gilbert also cited good flows into Asian and emerging market bonds, while commenting that his favourite geographical area is now Europe.

The company's balance sheet strengthened further during the year, with net cash more than doubling to £266.4m.

Perhaps unwise to anticipate an end to uncertaintyAs regards the outlook, Gilbert added that: "It is perhaps unwise to anticipate an end to the uncertainty engendered by the global economic and political backdrop, but I do believe that our clients and shareholders will be well served by the long term investment philosophy and rigorous process of our teams. While equity based products continue to generate healthy sales, we are confident that our sustained efforts in connection with other asset classes will make an increasingly important contribution to the Group's performance in the coming months."

The company will be hosting a presentation and webcast for analysts and institutions will at 09:00.

AB

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