Aberdeen profits soar 147% on global equity demand

Aberdeen Asset Management has reported a 147% profit rise, thanks to demand for global equity, emerging market and Asia Pacific funds.

The group says its pre-tax profits were £210m in the year to September 30 compared to £85.1m in 2009.

Its final results, published this morning, say: “These figures were driven principally by demand for our global emerging markets, global equity and Asia Pacific products, although we have also seen encouraging interest in some of our other capabilities, such as emerging market debt, Asian fixed income and US equities.”

Including exceptional items, amortisation and impairment of intangibles the pre-tax profits were £125.6m compared to just £10.5m last year.

The group generated performance fees £30.3m, which represents 4.7% of total revenues, but it says it remains “focused on growing recurring income” rather than performance-based income. (article continues below)

Assets under management rose to £178.7 billion compared to £146.2 billion a year ago, with the group winning net new business inflows of £2.6 billion compared to a net outflow of £10.7 billion in the 2009 year.

The strong performance allowed Aberdeen to repay all of its short-term bank debt during August and reduce its net gearing ratio to just 0.6%, compared to 17% at the end of the 2009 year. The statement adds the group expects to move to a net cash position during 2011.

Aberdeen’s debts were £175m last year, party due to a series of recent acquisitions including Credit Suisse’s asset management arm and the fund of hedge fund operations of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, says: “This has been an excellent year for Aberdeen in which we have taken full advantage of the improvement in financial markets and the new business opportunities presented to us.

“I am particularly pleased we have achieved this whilst strengthening our balance sheet still further, with the result that the business will move into a net cash position shortly as we continue to prioritise organic growth.”