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Emerging market sentiment returns

SWIP benefits ‘ahead of plan’ says Aberdeen’s Gilbert

Martin GilbertAberdeen Asset Management today said the cost benefits from its acquisition of Edinburgh-based Scottish Widows Investment Partnership were ahead of schedule.

The £606 million deal last year has made the group “a more balanced and diverse business and more easily able to ride out the ebb and flow of investor sentiment in particular asset classes and geographies”, said chief executive Martin Gilbert.

The return of positive sentiment in the second half helped the group turn in a “robust performance” for the full year to the end of September.

Underlying profit before tax rose by 2% to £490.3 million on a 4% uplift in net revenue to£1.12 billion. Assets under management increased by 62% to £324.4bn, largely as a result of the SWIP deal.

The better second half performance enabled the group to recommend a final dividend of 11.25p per share (2013: 10p) making a total for the year of 18p (16p).

Mr Gilbert said:   “We have delivered robust performance this year in a more challenging environment, underpinned by our long-term track record and also our transformational acquisition of SWIP, which has diversified the Group. The first half of the year was particularly demanding, as investor sentiment turned sharply against emerging market economies. Recently, however, we have seen those concerns abate and outflows from our Asian and emerging market funds have moderated.

“The integration of SWIP is proceeding on schedule and is already beginning to deliver cost synergies ahead of expectations. The acquisition has also made us a more balanced and diverse business and more easily able to ride out the ebb and flow of investor sentiment in particular asset classes and geographies.

“Markets are likely to remain volatile given the uncertain economic and interest rate environment but our new financial year has started well with our broadened product range attracting interest from a range of clients. We will continue to apply our philosophy of long-term fundamental investing to meet the objectives of our clients.”

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