- Rathbone Brothers grew its underlying profit before tax by 16.8% to £87.5 million in 2017.

The underlying profit margin remained strong at 30.6% compared to 29.8% in 2016.

Underlying earnings per share increased 13.7% to 138.8p.

The board has recommended a final dividend of 39p for 2017 (2016: 36p), making a total of 61p for the year (2016: 57p), an increase of 7.0%

Total funds under management were £39.1 billion at 31 December 2017, up 14.3% from £34.2 billion at 31 December 2016. The FTSE 100 Index increased by 7.6% and the MSCI WMA Private Investor Balanced Index increased by 7.2% over the same period.

The total net annual growth rate of funds under management for investment management was 3.9% (2016: 4.5%). This comprised £0.9 billion of net organic growth (2016: £0.8 billion) and £0.3 billion of acquired inflows (2016: £0.4 billion). The underlying rate of net organic growth was 3.0% in 2016 (2016: 2.9%).

Underlying operating income in investment management of £254.6 million was up 12.5%, driven by higher investment markets and continued organic and acquired growth in all business areas.

Funds under management in unit trusts were £5.3 billion at 31 December 2017 (31 December 2016: £4.0 billion) and net inflows totalled £883 million in the same period (2016: £554 million).

Underlying operating income in unit trusts was £31.4 million in the year ended 31 December 2017, an increase of 25.6% from £25.0 million in 2016.

Mark Nicholls, chairman of Rathbone Brothers, said: "UK and global investment markets performed well in 2017, with some indices reaching record levels towards the end of the year. This outcome has been positive for both Rathbones and our clients, with our funds under management reaching a record £39.1 billion, up 14.3% in the year.

"Notwithstanding some caution, which naturally emerges at a time of high investment markets and political uncertainty, we enter 2018 well positioned to provide long-term value for shareholders."

At 9:51am: [LON:RAT] Rathbone Brothers PLC share price was +11p at 2747p

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