Nervous European investors yanked tens of billions of euros worth of assets from asset manager Jupiter Fund Management in 2011, contributing to a decline in assets under management (AUM) during the course of the year.
AUM at the end of 2011 stood at £22.8bn, down from £24.1bn a year earlier, as investors in continental Europe withdrew some €90bn of assets during 2011, whereas the year before they had poured in €172bn.
"UK retail investors proved more resilient for most of the year but there was a marked retrenchment in fund sales in the second half, with equity funds in net outflow for each of the last four months of the year," noted Chief Executive Officer, Edward Bonham-Carter. "This included November, where overall net retail sales were only £267m - the lowest monthly net sales since October 2008 - and with the largest equity net outflows on record," Bonham-Carter added.
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Despite the significant volatility in the markets in a year which saw the Japanese tsunami, civil unrest in many Arab states and the ever-present Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, the firm still saw net inflows of £0.7bn, albeit down from net inflows of £2.3bn the year before.
Gross revenue rose to £346.9m in 2011 from £318.8m in 2010 while net revenue jumped to £248.5m from £230.5m the year before.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) climbed to £134.9m from £124.6m in 2010, while profit before tax advanced to £70.3m from £42.4m the year before.
Underlying earnings per share rose to 19.1p, shy of market forecasts of 19.58p but up from 17.6p in 2010.
"Our balance sheet position strengthened significantly through continued deleveraging and it was pleasing to see the group move into a net cash position in advance of the year end as a result. This improved financial performance and balance sheet resilience has allowed a 13 per cent increase in the final dividend," Bonham-Carter said.
The final dividend is 5.3p, up from 4.7p in 2010. This moves the full year dividend up to 7.8p, above the market consensus forecast of 7.64p.
The net cash position as at 31st of December 2011 was positive at £7.4m, a big turnaround from net debt of £62.7m at the end of 2010.
"While financial assets have rallied sharply since the end of the year, the economic outlook remains uncertain. Markets are likely to remain volatile and fund flows subdued in the near term as a result. However, the long term growth drivers for the savings market remain intact and so we remain focused on delivering strong fund performance for our clients and investing in our business to capitalise on these opportunities when sentiment improves," Bonham-Carter said.
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