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Martin Currie sees assets plunge

Martin Currie has reported a 37% drop in assets under management in 2008 to £9.9 billion, according to its annual results.

The Edinburgh-based firm said its pre-tax profits rose by 27% to £32.6m against 2007. However, this was affected by a restructuring in 2007, and adjusted profit1 on ordinary activities before tax – the measure the company itself uses to assess performance – fell 5% to £33.8m.

Cost-cutting measures had succeeded in reducing year-on-year costs by 24% to £57.3m excluding exceptional items, Martin Currie said in a statement, adding that this was mainly by reducing bonuses and cutting discretionary spending.

Turnover was down 16% to £87.3m, but the firm said its financial position was strong, with surplus regulatory capital of 470%.

Malcolm Gourlay, the chairman, said: “This strength … underpins our long-term independence and employee-owned business model.”

Willie Watt, the chief executive, said that three-to-five year performance was good and highlighted the strength of the group’s absolute return range, which now manages over $1 billion (£687m).

Martin Currie’s British retail channel saw net inflows of £473m, placing them in the top 10 fund groups for retail net sales in 2008, according to Lipper data.

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