St James's Place PLC (LON:STJ) saw strong inflows of new client cash boost its funds under management and operating profits in the first half of 2018.
For the six months to 30 June, the FTSE 100-listed wealth manager reported operating profit on a European embedded value basis (EEV) of £489.6mln, up 23% from £397.3mln a year earlier.
The group saw net fund inflows of £5.2bn in the period, up 21% from £4bn a year earlier, helping lift its funds under management to £96.6bn, up from £83.0bn, and up 16% over the previous 12 months.
The investment firm saw its number of advisers grow by 4% in the first half to 3,810 which, it said, bodes well for future growth.
Andrew Croft, St James’s Place’s chief executive, commented: “The environment we are operating in, together with these investments, provides us with the confidence that we can continue to achieve our medium-term growth objectives.”
The firm is paying an interim dividend of 18.49p a share, up 20% on the 15.41p paid a year earlier.
New investment director
In a separate announcement, St James’s Place also announced that David Lamb, its managing director of investments, has confirmed that he will retire in early 2019, although he will continue, on a part-time basis, to chair the firm’s Investment Committee.
The group said Robert Gardner will take over as its director of investment management on 7 January 2019, subject to regulatory approval, joining St James’s Place from investment consultancy Redington Ltd, which provides the firm with a range of investment consultancy services.
It added that Gardner, who co-founded Redington and will continue in his non-executive role at Redington on joining St. James's Place.
Results broadly in line for Numis
In a note to clients, analysts at Numis Securities said; “The key numbers are generally in line with consensus and broadly in line with our estimates. Key metrics are +20% YoY.
“We continue to regard SJP as offering good growth (15-20% p.a. medium-term outlook) at a reasonable price (cash PE 19x, div. yield 4.2%).”
Numis repeated a ‘buy’ rating and 1,206p price target on St James’s Place shares.
In late afternoon trading, the blue-chip stock was trading at 1.178p, down 2.3% on Tuesday’s close, having gained over 6% in a month up to that point.
-- Adds analyst comment, share price --