AJ Bell interim profits jump amid record new customer numbers
Investment platform AJ Bell posted a jump in interim profit and revenue on Thursday thanks in part to record levels of new customers.
In the six months to the end of March, pre-tax profit rose 39% to £31.6m on revenue of £73.9m, up 21% on the same period a year ago.
The balance sheet strengthened, with net assets up 8% to £117.9m and the interim dividend was lifted to 2.46p a share from 1.50p the year before.
Total customer numbers increased by a record 51,492, up 32% over the last 12 months.
Net inflows were £3.1bn, up from £2.1bn in the first half of last year, driven by platform net inflows of £3.3bn compared to £2.5bn. Assets under administration grew 35% over the last 12 months and 75% in the first half of the current financial year to £65.2bn.
Chief executive Andy Bell said the group had delivered a "strong" financial performance, driven by record levels of new customers, inflows and dealing activity.
"The average age of our new direct-to-consumer customers was 38 in the first half of the year, five years younger than the average of the wider customer base. Average portfolio values remained high at £79,000. Our record number of new customers has been helped by the low interest rate environment, as savers seek higher returns on cash held in savings accounts and cash ISAs," he said,
"Our advised platform proposition remains very popular with advisers, who appreciate the wider adoption of digital processes to support their remote working and the highly competitive charging structure. The recent acquisition of Adalpha will accelerate the development of a new mobile-focused platform to enhance our advised proposition and enable advisers to service a wider range of clients."