NETHERLANDS/BELGIUM - Fortis Investment Management (FIM), the Dutch-Belgian financial services firm, posted a 7% decline in first quarter revenues and a 15% drop in net operating profits compared to the same period last year.
Persistently weak economic conditions were also blamed for an overall 8% drop in Q1 net operating profits at Fortis Group to e763m during the same time.
But compared to the last quarter of 2002 net operating profit rose by 6% to e11m, largely due to strict cost control.
Assets under management were also up marginally, e73.6bn for Q1 2003, compared to e72.8bn at year-end 2002. Declining markets depressed this figure by e3.1bn, but this was offset by an asset transfer from the Banque Generale du Luxembourg.
The number of full time employees also increased from 639 to 652, quarter on quarter.
FIM continued its expansion through new offices in Italy and the UK.The Milan office is the platform for commercial activity in Italy, while the London office houses the global fixed income team and is responsible for sales to distributors and institutional investors in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia.
Earlier this year, Fortis also hired Emeric Challier, formerly head of the global bond team at Société Générale Asset Management as head of its euro fixed income team and Albert Mandic as head of alternative investments. Commenting on the results, Fortis chief executive officer, Anton van Rossum, said: “The uncertainty surrounding economic developments makes it impossible for us at this time to issue a realistic profit forecast for the current year.”
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