British insurer and asset manager Standard Life on Tuesday posted a forecast-beating 7 per cent rise in first-half assets under administration, boosted by market gains following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
Total assets were £328 billion (€384 billion), up from £307.4 billion at December 31st, helped by £19.7 billion in market gains as sterling weakened and bond yields dropped after the June 23rd vote.
Looking ahead, chief executive Keith Skeoch said the firm would sharpen its focus on cost-cutting to drive significant improvements in its cost-to-income ratio and it remained well positioned to weather future volatility in markets.
“Despite elevated uncertainty, we are benefiting from our strong long-term relationships with a broad range of clients and customers who reacted in different ways to the changing market environment,” he said.
The firm also said it had seen £900 million net inflows into its various savings and pensions products during the period.
The growth in total assets exceeded a £313.9 billion consensus forecast of 16 analysts provided by the company and helped the firm’s underlying operating performance rise 14 per cent over the period.
Operating pretax profits rose 18 per cent to £341 million, underpinning a 7.5 per cent increase in its interim dividend to 6.47 pence a share. – (Reuters)