StockMarketWire.com - Wealth manager Quilter, which was recently spun out of Old Mutual, posted a first-half profit, boosted by a tax benefit, though its underlying earnings fell.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June amounted to £46m, compared to losses of £40m on-year.

Assets under management edged up to £107.4m, from £107.3m, but adjusted pre-tax profit fell 20% to £71m, down from £89m.

Quilter declared an interim dividend of 1p per share, which it said was positioned at the lower end of its target pay-out range.

A decision on the overall 2020 pay-out ratio would be made with the full-year results in March.

The company said its weaker underlying profit performance nevertheless demonstrated a 'resilient performance in challenging markets'.

Net client cash flow of £1.1bn represented a significant increase on the comparative period's £0.3b, it added, due to lower outflows and broadly stable gross sales of £5.8bn.

'The first half of 2020 was a uniquely challenging environment which has forced us all to reconsider the way we socially interact and undertake business activities,' chief executive Paul Feeney said.

'In response to revenue challenges in the first half of 2020 , we pulled hard on the cost lever, both through structural cost reduction via our optimisation programme and tactically with a planned reduction in discretionary expenditure of around £30m this year.'

'Our cautious outlook with broadly stable market conditions for the remainder of the year means we continue to expect revenue headwinds.'

'As a consequence, we will maintain a firm handle on expenses with a modestly lower second half out-turn for costs anticipated to offset the expected impact from revenue headwinds.'

'We are pleased to see the significant pick-up in net flows across the business in the first half, with gross flows remaining resilient despite the market turmoil and retention rates improving.'

'This gives us confidence that we can deliver improving flows as the platform migration project completes.'




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