Home Greater Manchester AJ Bell profits surge following year of strong growth

AJ Bell profits surge following year of strong growth

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Andy Bell of AJ Bell Financial Services

Annual profits at Manchester-headquartered AJ Bell have surged 29 per cent as the investment platform’s assets under administration have risen to nearly £40bn.

Pre-tax profits for the year to September 30 2017 grew to £21.7m from £16.8m as the company continued its strong growth of customer numbers.

The company provides online pension, investment and stockbroking services to customers across the UK.

Retail customers increased by 17 per cent to 164,557, while assets under administration rose 25 per cent to £39.8bn from £31.8bn.

The increase in assets under administration was driven primarily by £6.4bn of new business, up 78 per cent on the previous year’s figure of £3.6bn.

Revenue grew 17 per cent to £75.6m from £64.5m and AJ Bell is continuing its progressive dividend policy with a 10 per cent increase to 28.25p a share, equating to a total shareholder pay-out of £11.6m.

AJ Bell’s figures also absorb the cost of moving into its new head office at Salford Quays in the summer, providing the necessary space to support the company’s rapid growth.

It employs nearly 700 people, most of whom are based at the new HQ at Exchange Quay.

In November the company announced it would be bringing a further 100 jobs at the site by moving its stockbroking services from Tunbridge Wells.

The company is benefiting from the growth in popularity of self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), a particular strength for AJ Bell, as well as low-cost, ready-made investment portfolios that were launched this year.

Andy Bell, chief executive at AJ Bell, said: “We are pleased to report another year of strong growth for the business, both in terms of the number of customers using our investment platform and our financial performance.

“To support that growth, we moved into our new head office in Salford Quays during the year and we are in the process of making that the main hub for all our core operations.

“As we go through that process in 2018 we will be recruiting locally to continue building a highly-skilled workforce who can help us achieve our vision of being the easiest investment platform to use in the UK.”