St James’s Place has reported an 8.5 per cent drop in pre-tax profits, from £90.1m in the first half of 2013 to £82.4m this year, with the firm’s distribution arm recording an £8.8m loss during the period.
SJP’s half year results, published this morning, reveal a 20 per cent surge in year-on-year sales at the company, from £373.9m in the first six months last year to £447.9m in 2014.
Profits within SJP’s life business were down 4 per cent, from £81.1m to £77.6m, while its unit trust arm increased profits from £25.3m to £29.4m during the period.
However, the company’s distribution business made an £8.8m loss, driven by a change in accounting rules which means it is required to recognise its FSCS levy immediately rather than phase it evenly throughout the year.
The result for the first half of 2014 therefore reflects an expected full-year FSCS levy of £6.9m, whereas the corresponding 2013 loss of £2.1m reflected a six-month FSCS charge of £2.4m.
Total adviser numbers at SJP are up 9 per cent in the past 12 months, from 2,466 last year to 2,688 in 2014, while funds under management have risen from £39.9bn to £47.6bn.
SJP chief executive David Bellamy says: “We believe that there is a growing market for trustworthy, personal advice in the UK marketplace and these results once again demonstrate that fact. They also demonstrate that the scale and quality of the company’s relationship based approach to wealth management, twinned with our distinct investment management proposition, which has been positioned to serve this market, is doing so.”
He adds: “We are encouraged by the pension and savings initiatives announced in the Budget earlier this year and indeed we fully support steps that seek to simplify the current regime and encourage savings for the future.
“We expect our advisers to play an increasingly important role in helping their clients to understand the options available to them leading up to, at and post retirement, in order that they can make the right decisions and plan accordingly.”