UPDATE 1-Fund firm Jupiter hikes dividend despite flat profits
* Pre-tax profit 73.6 mln stg
* Underlying earnings per share 19 pence
* Total dividend per share 8.8 pence
LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Jupiter Fund Management hiked its dividend 13 percent for last year, surprising analysts even as the funds house failed to grow its profits substantially over the previous year.
The London-based fund manager, headed by Edward Bonham Carter, said in its full-year results on Thursday Jupiter would pay a total dividend of 8.8 pence per share, up from 7.8 pence a year earlier and ahead of analysts expectations of 8.1 pence.
The group said pre-tax profits for the 12 months to Dec. 31 came in at 73.6 million pounds compared with 70.3 million pounds in 2011. Analysts had forecast profits of 69.4 million pounds.
Net revenues dipped slightly as it earned less in fees on the funds it manages. This was despite a rise assets under management of 3.5 billion pounds to 26.3 billion pounds ($39.8 billion) during the year.
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