The firm attributed the overall improvement to its reported pre-tax profit primarily to a 5.1 per cent reduction in costs from £77m in the previous half year to £73.1m in the current half year.
In its half-year results, the firm noted pre-tax profit for its core business – which excludes the business held for sale in the period – increased 200 per cent to £3m in the period, which it attributed to a 3.5 per cent increase in revenues and improved margins.
However, the results showed total funds under management and administration fell to £20bn from £21.3bn at the end of March 2015, as negative market movements of £1.5bn offset client inflows.
This occured in spite of the discretionary managed funds and Charles Stanley Direct businesses contributing £400m of inflows.
As a result, in the first half the discretionary managed business recorded a 4.3 per cent decline in funds under management and administration from £9.3bn to £8.9bn at the end of September. The advisory managed business saw funds under management drop from £3bn at the end of March to £2.3bn six months later.
Paul Abberley, chief executive of Charles Stanley Group, stated: “Significant progress has been made during the period, in line with the stated three-to-five year strategy announced at the last set of results.
“Our first priority was to arrest the decline in profitability, which we are pleased to have achieved, whilst maintaining our high levels of client delivery.
“Initial milestones include the successful completion of our client suitability upgrade programme, the sale of non-core businesses and the determination of a revised rate card.
“We have articulated our intention to build a holistic offering, built around full service and bespoke investment management, complemented by asset management and financial planning divisions, and have successfully reorganised the business divisions to reflect this.”