CompaniesMay 2 2013

Ashcourt earnings resilient as restructuring hits revenue

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ByDonia O’Loughlin

Ashcourt Rowan has reported that its underlying Ebitda for the 12 months to the end of March 2013 was above market estimates at £2.8m, despite a hit to full-year revenues as a result of its restructuring.

In a trading update, the firm said that its second half revenues returned to growth and grew by £1.1m increase compared to the first six months to £17.1m.

The group said “as expected” full year revenue is below the previous year as a result of restructuring and the facilitated exit of selected managers.

In November, the wealth management company said that company revenues were £16.1m, representing a hit of 12.5 per cent, which group chief executive officer Jonathan Polin said was an anticipated reduction to income as the firm restructured.

Total funds under management and influence total £3.7bn. Discretionary assets under management are “stable” at £1.6bn, with organic growth offsetting expected reduction as a result of the facilitated exit of selected managers during 2012.

Ashcourt added that the agreed sale of its pension administration business to Mattioli Woods plc for up to £1.3m, of which £700,000 is upfront, will simplify business and allow the firm to focus on core areas.

Gaius Jones, former main board director of Towry, has joined as the new chief executive of financial planning.

The asset management arm has also been strengthened by the arrival of former Brewin Dolphin senior investment director Harry Burnham in October, and David Palmer who joined in February from Generali as the business director.

Mr Polin said: “Over the last twelve months a huge amount of work has been completed to re-engineer the company to ensure we are fit for purpose to meet the demands of the new regulatory environment and to take advantage of the opportunities the dislocation of the sector affords us.

“We have stabilised the company’s financial position, worked to embed new systems, controls and ICT infrastructure, and revitalised our investment offering and client proposition in preparation for the implementation of RDR leaving us strongly placed to grow.”

The group has also signed an agreement to outsource the asset management operations to the TD Wealth platform, which comes into effect for new clients immediately and for existing clients from the end of May.

Mr Polin said that this move and the sale of its Sipp and Ssas business to Mattioli Woods and the integration of its Savoy business within Ashcourt Rowan Asset Management completed the key structural changes needed to make to simplify the business.

He said: “Our focus in 2013/ 2014 will be on delivering growth for the company, repairing the revenue line following some agreed departures of assets and managers last year, and growing new revenue lines organically.”