Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management has reported a solid rise in revenue and profit in its first half which it says was down to a return of investor appetite for risk assets in 2012 and an ongoing desire for yield.
Revenue increased by 7% in the six months to March 31st, from £385.9m to £413.1m. Meanwhile, assets under management (AuM) at the period end was £184.7bn, up from £181.2bn at the end of March 2011.
Aberdeen said that the average fees earned on new business continue to run at higher rates than our existing AuM and, as a result, the blended average management fee rate for the period improved to 43.9 basis points (year to September 30th: 41.2 basis points).
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Underlying pre-tax profit before amortisation and impairment of intangibles rose 14% from £142.8m to £162.2m. Including these, reported pre-tax profit still improved by 14%. Meanwhile, the operating margin improved from 39.5% (last financial year) to 40.1%.
"Aberdeen has achieved further growth in revenue and profit in the first half year, continuing the momentum of 2010 and 2011," said Chief Executive Martin Gilbert.
"Global economic conditions remain uncertain and any recovery is still tentative. Nevertheless, we remain confident that our long term investment philosophy and process, couple with the scale and diversity of our business and financial strength, leave us well placed to meet the expectations of our investors," he said.
The firm has decided to pay an interim dividend of 4.4p per share, up 16% on the payment the year before.
While the overall outlook was confident, Chairman Roger Cornick said: "We are encouraged by the strong start to the current financial year but, as we have already seen during the first few weeks of April, global markets remain susceptible to periodic bouts of volatility."
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