LONDON, July 31 Upmarket British wealth manager
St James's Place celebrated a further rise in first half sales
by hiking its dividend a greater-than-forecast 50 percent.
In an earnings statement for the half year to June 30, the
company said its most closely watched measure of sales, which
combines regular and single premiums, was 426.5 million pounds
($650.8 million), 21 percent higher than a year ago.
Net inflows of funds under management was also 32 percent
higher at 1.99 billion pounds, taking total funds under
management to 39.9 billion pounds.
While St James's Place grew last year in spite of concerns
over the effects of Europe's debt crisis on investor sentiment,
CEO David Bellamy on Wednesday attributed the stronger growth in
the first half of 2013 to "more stable market conditions".
The interim dividend is 6.38 pence, above analyst forecasts
of 5.64 pence.
In May state-backed Lloyds Banking Group sold a 15 percent
stake in the wealth manager, raising 450 million pounds.