Profits at Standard Life Aberdeen down as outflows continue

Standard-Life-AberdeenStandard Life Aberdeen has blamed “challenging” market conditions for a drop in profits and continued outflows from its funds during the first six months of the year.

The Edinburgh-based asset manager’s financial figures for the first half of 2018 showed net outflows of £16.6 billion (€18.4 billion) in the six months to June, with a net £5.3 billion being withdrawn from the firm’s flagship £17.6 billion Global Absolute Return Strategies (Gars).

During the same period, pre-tax profits fell to £311 million, down from £355 million in the first half of 2017.

Total assets under management at the group – created last year following the merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management – fell to £610.1 billion, down from £626.5 billion at the end of 2017.

The company also announced that it would accelerate its £1.75 billion share buy-back programme and start returning an initial tranche of £175 million to shareholders in the coming days.

In a joint statement co-chief executives Martin Gilbert and Keith Skeoch defended the company’s first half performance saying that gross inflows remain robust and are spread across a diverse range of investments.

“Our investment and distribution teams are winning new mandates and we have a good and diverse pipeline of business from around the world,” the pair said.

“We are actively taking steps to improve our investment performance in key areas and are encouraged by the impact of these initiatives.”

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