* Full year net revenues up 11 pct to 869.2 mln stg
* Aberdeen cash pile more than doubles
* Underlying pre-tax profits 347.8 mln stg, up 15 pct
* Full year dividend 11.5 pence per share
* Shares rise 0.35 percent
By Tommy Wilkes
LONDON, Nov 26 Aberdeen Asset Management
failed to impress investors with news of any immediate plans for
buybacks or a special dividend after reporting its net cash
reserves had more than doubled in the last twelve months.
The fund manager said an 11 percent rise in full-year
revenues, driven by greater demand for its higher-margin funds,
helped to more than double its net cash position to 266.4
million pounds ($426.5 million) from 127.5 million pounds a year
Reporting its full-year results to the end of September,
Aberdeen said it will pay an 11.5 pence per share dividend for
the year, up 28 percent on 2011, and that it is "committed to a
progressive dividend policy".
"Once we've made the cash we'll decide what to do,"
Aberdeen's Chief Executive Martin Gilbert said on a call to
reporters, adding that the firm's capital would see a further
boost because holders of a convertible bond had decided to
convert their holdings into shares.
However, some analysts were disappointed there was not more
news on whether the firm will return more capital to
shareholders through buybacks or special dividends.
Aberdeen will also "neutralise" the shares it pays to staff
- typically 75 percent of their bonus - by buying them back in
the market, but further decisions on what to do with its cash
would have to wait until the middle of next year, Gilbert said.
Aberdeen has indicated regulators require it to hold a net
cash balance of around 250 million pounds.
"With a net cash balance in excess of our expectation, we
believe that the company could signal its willingness to enhance
shareholder returns through the distribution of excess capital
to shareholders," RBC analysts said in a note.
"We continue to believe that a special dividend and/or share
buybacks are possible and likely in H2 FY13."
Shares in Aberdeen were up 0.35 percent at 1040 GMT,
outperforming the 0.41 percent fall in the FTSE 100.
RISE IN REVENUES
Aberdeen said in the trading statement revenues reached
869.2 million pounds ($1.39 billion) for the year to
end-September, up from 784 million pounds a year earlier.
Analysts at UBS had forecast revenues of 858 million pounds.
Underlying pre-tax profits came in at 347.8 million pounds,
up 15 percent on the previous year.
Aberdeen credited much of the revenue rise to demand for its
global emerging markets, Asia Pacific and global equity funds,
as well as for its higher-margin emerging-market debt products,
where assets under management have surpassed $10 billion.
This allowed it to offset subdued investor appetite for
taking on more risk that has impacted some of its rivals more
heavily focused on developed market products.
Assets under management at Aberdeen hit 187.2 billion pounds
at end-September, up from 169.9 billion a year earlier, with new
client money and strong investment performance in equities
driving the rise.
However, the group saw net outflows in its fixed income
business after redemptions from developed market strategy
Elsewhere, Aberdeen also saw more clients withdraw money
than they added in its solutions business, which includes its
fund of hedge funds unit, and its property funds.