By Jemima Kelly
LONDON, March 6 British fund manager Schroders
reported a higher-than-expected 41 percent rise in 2013
core profit, helped by acquisitions and new money flows from
Schroders' results follow strong profit increases from
competitors including Jupiter, Henderson and St
James's Place, reflecting buoyant equity markets.
Shares in Schroders were 3 percent higher in morning trade
on Thursday, the third-strongest performer on the FTSE 100
index of blue-chip stocks.
However Chief Executive Michael Dobson warned 2014 might be
more challenging for investors.
"We think high-quality equities are still the place to be
but we're not projecting the same kind of performance as we saw
last year," Dobson said, citing instability in Ukraine and other
Schroders' pretax profit before exceptional items rose to
507.8 million pounds ($849.58 million) last year, ahead of a
Schroders' poll of analysts that forecast profit of 473.9
Overall net inflows fell 16 percent to 7.9 billion pounds
following the expected loss of two large but low-margin
accounts, while money from more profitable retail investors rose
45 percent to 4.9 billion pounds.
Assets under management were up 24 percent at a record
262.9 billion pounds on Dec. 31.
Schroders completed the biggest acquisition in its more
than 200-year history when it bought rival Cazenove Capital for
385 million pounds last July, almost tripling profit at its
wealth management business.
The London-based company also bought U.S. investment firm
STW Fixed Income for 34.7 million pounds in April.
Dobson said company was not on a major buying spree.
"We were very pleased to do those two transactions but our
focus now is really back to growing the business organically, as
it's always been," he said.
Schroders said it would pay a final dividend of 42 pence per
share, bringing the full-year dividend to 58 pence per share, up
35 percent on 2012.