Altus: Platform industry in profit for first time

The UK platform industry collectively registered a profit for the first time in its history in 2012, according to consultancy firm Altus.

It comes after the firm’s research into platforms between 2005 and 2011 found that the industry had posted cumulative losses year after year.

Kevin Okell, head of consultancy at Altus, said: “Although revenues grew a little slower than we’d predicted, expenditure actually fell slightly resulting in a small profit for the platform sector for the first time.

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“While some of this improvement may be down to changes in accounting practice, it does seem like the industry is heading in the right direction with over half of all platforms now reporting a profit.”

But Mr Okell urged that there was “no room for complacency” in the notoriously slim-margin platform sector, as revenues had only increased by 6 per cent in 2012 compared with a 20 per cent increase in assets under administration.

“The accounts we analysed relate predominantly to 2012, during which the average yield on platform assets under administration fell below 40 basis points – another less welcome first for the platform industry,” Mr Okell said.

“That means costs must continue to come down and it will be interesting to see if the industry has managed to sustain the 2012 improvement when this year’s accounts get filed over the next 12 months.”