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Tech fund inflows drive Polar Capital profits

Tech fund inflows drive Polar Capital profits

The popularity of Polar Capital's technology funds helped inflows rise and profits almost double in the six months to September 30.

In a statement to the stock exchange Polar Capital posted net inflows of £900m, taking assets under management to £14.7bn, up from £12bn at the end of March.

This was driven by inflows of £402m into the range of technology funds the company runs.

The period covered by these results coincided with a run of strong performance from the technology sector, but since the start of October the share prices of many technology assets have fallen sharply.

The company's best-known technology fund is Polar Capital Global Technology, which returned 98.2 per cent over the past three years, while the IA Technology & Telecommunications sector returned 62.8 per cent.

But over the past three months the fund lost 13 per cent, while its sector lost 10.7 per cent.

Operating profit for the six month period was £21.7m, up from £12m for the same six month period in 2017.

The company confirmed that assets under management have fallen to £13.6bn since the end of September.

Gavin Rochussen, chief executive of Polar Capital, said: "While we have had a highly satisfactory first six months, there is no doubt that we will encounter more volatile markets and a reduction in risk appetite by investors as developed markets begin to reduce accommodative monetary policy in the case of Europe and Japan and as the US continues to normalise interest rates with monetary tightening."

david.thorpe@ft.com