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St James’s Place takes profit hit

St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group has revealed a fall of 19.7 per cent in operating profits in 2008.

The firm’s operating profits fell from £244.7m in 2007 to £204.3m on an European Embedded Value basis.

New business profits fell to £123.5m, down from £150.9m in 2007, while net asset value per share stands at 232.4p compared to 252.5p 12 months earlier.

Funds under management also took a 10 per cent hit, falling from £18.2bn to £16.3bn, with fund retention at 95 per cent. Total new business fell 2 per cent to £419m and total single investments fell from £3.4bn to £3.1bn.

The group has maintained its dividend at 2.55 pence, meaning a total dividend of 4.39 pence for the year with the dividend for 2007 at 4.3 pence

SJP chief executive David Bellamy says: ‘We have not lost any of our enthusiasm for our medium to long term growth targets. Strong retention of funds under management, three consecutive years of growth in Partner numbers and a good environment for further recruitment of quality advisers give us good reasons to be optimistic for when the markets recover.”

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