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AJ Bell profit leaps 24% as it prepares for float

Andy Bell, AJ BellAJ Bell has reported a 24 per cent increase in profit before tax and a 5 per cent rise in assets under administration for the six months ended 31 March 2018.

The platform business recorded AUA of £41.8bn (30 September 2017: £39.8bn) and profit before tax of £13.9m compared to £11.2m in the first half of 2017.

AJ Bell is preparing to float on the London Stock Exchange either later this year or early in 2019 and chief executive Andy Bell says plans for the float are “progressing well”.

Bell says: “A listing is a natural step as we plan for the next growth phase in the business and to increase our profile in the market. A listing will enable more institutional investors to participate in AJ Bell’s future, and an element of the offering will be exclusively set aside for AJ Bell retail customers.”

AJ Bell says it is engaging with the FCA on its platform market study and that it views point of sale disclosure as a barrier to customers making informed decisions about their finances.

AJ Bell has been working with the behavioural economics team at Manchester Metropolitan University on how this could change. It presented findings from this work to a policy seminar at the Treasury in April.

The results statement says: “We await the results of this lobbying and the further guidance on effective consumer communication that is anticipated from the FCA.”

Bell heralds the results as “the most profitable interim results in [AJ Bell’s] history”.

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