StockMarketWire.com - Alternative investment manager, Argo Group has posted a sharply reduced pre tax profit of $2.8m (2008 profit $8.17m) for the year to 31 December 2009 on turnover that was nearly 30% lower at $11.69m (2008 $16.6m).

The decline in revenues reflects reflected lower performance fee income of $0.4m(2008: $7.5m).

Assets under management decreased by 33% to $439.5m, largely as a result of redemptions and the write down of assets of the Argo Real Estate Opportunities Fund.

The directors are proposing a final dividend of 1p per share (2008: Nil). Going forward, it is intended that the Company implements a progressive dividend policy, paying a final dividend each year.

In addition the directors intend to undertake a share purchase programme up to a maximum total value of $2m over a period of 12 months commencing from 1 April 2010.

CEO Kyriakos Rialas, Chief Executive says:"In line with the entire hedge fund industry the Company and its funds have experienced two difficult years of trading.

"However the Company has been able to stabilise its position by making some difficult yet essential decisions. As a result the Company's liquidity and balance sheet are strong and its regulatory structure is well established.

"As the Company's main fund enters its tenth year of existence it is well positioned to benefit from any upturn in market conditions."










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