Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) saw its profits fall by a third in its first-half results as revenue fell, but redemptions from its strategies fell to the lowest level since the firm's blockbuster 2017 merger.
SLA said adjusted profit before tax slipped to £195m in H1 2020, 30% lower than in H1 2019, at £280m, largely reflecting lower revenue. Its fee-based revenue fell 13% to £706m, from £815m.
However, the firm did see the lowest amount of redemptions in more than three years, at £38.1bn. Combined with gross inflows of £38.2bn, the firm recorded net inflows of £100m, excluding expected tranche withdrawals from Lloyds Banking Group customers.
SLA added that its balance sheet remains strong, allowing it to maintain its interim dividend payment of 7.3p.
In his final half-year results as chief executive, Keith Skeoch said that, after a "comparatively short-lived" contraction phase of the Covid-19 crisis, he expected "an element of recovery as restrictions are lifted".
"Nevertheless, the long-term consequences of the crisis will be profound, including a longer-term loss of output, labour market scarring, lower real interest rates, and an altered balance between monetary and fiscal policy," Skeoch added.
"There are both challenges and opportunities arising in the current environment. As an active asset manager we can play an important role in society during the recovery, meeting the evolving needs of clients as they plan their financial futures.
"Through our platforms and wealth channel, we can help people plan for their financial futures through our savings and investment products. As active asset managers we can continue to meet the evolving needs of our clients across a broad range of asset classes, strategies and solutions.
"While the revenue outlook remains challenging for the industry, we will continue to focus on what we can control. We will continue to diversify our revenue and reshape our cost base to ensure it is future fit.
"Although the future is unpredictable, we believe that our mix of customers and channels, continued investment performance, enduring relationships, geographic spread and financial strength will enable us to continue to demonstrate resilience in periods of ongoing uncertainty."
This week’s top stories included Aon findings that the number of defined benefit schemes employing a sole trustee model is expected to double by 2025, while Scottish Widows invested £2bn as the inaugural investor in BlackRock’s new climate fund.
Phoenix Group has reported a £36m increase in group operating profit in the first six months of this year, as well as strong cash generation of £433m.
Aviva’s operating profit fell by 11% in the first half of the year as Covid-19 hit business activity, although a growth in bulk annuity sales partially offset the drop.
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In this live blog, Professional Pensions brings together all the latest news on the industry's response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as regulatory and legal updates.
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