St. James’s Place share price: Company profit slips but dividend hiked
St. James’s Place (LON:STJ) today posted a 41 percent drop in annual pre-tax profits for 2015 to £174 million, but hiked its final dividend by 20 percent to 17.24p.
Net fund inflows over the period grew by almost 14 percent year-on-year to £5.8 billion, while funds under management increased to £58.6 billion — up from £52 billion in 2014. Underlying profit slipped 5.7 percent to £164 million.
The major headwind came from a 240 percent rise in the levy paid to the industry-wide Financial Services Compensation Scheme to £20.1 million, and increased investment costs in Asia.
The wealth management company increased its adviser numbers by 10 percent to 3,113, and brought in 54,000 new clients last year, taking its total to 525,000.
“We see a growing demand for sound, personal, financial planning advice as individuals begin to fully comprehend the financial implication of increased life expectancy whilst being faced with increasingly complex options in respect of their pension funds,” the company said.
The company’s chief executive David Bellamy hailed SJP’s performance over the past decade, noting that the company has achieved positive net inflows “in every single quarter — and that includes during 2008-09”.
“We are confident of delivering on our medium-term objective, which is circa 15 percent growth,” Bellamy said.
Shore Capital analyst Eamonn Flanagan said the firm had delivered “an excellent set of results”, with more growth in the pipeline. “Despite this progress, SJP continues to motor ahead…the acquisition of Rowan Dartington has completed, the push into Asia is progressing well, the Academy has been expanded into Scotland and the first new office for a number of years has been planned for Canary Wharf,” Flanagan said as quoted by The Telegraph.
SJP’s share price had edged 2.45 percent higher to 877.50p as of 13:51 GMT today, broadly in line with the FTSE 100. In the year-to-date, the stock is down 12 percent, however, as compared with a four-percent drop for the FTSE.
As of 14:22 GMT, Thursday, 25 February, St. James’s Place plc share price is 881.50p.
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