ASSET manager F&C yesterday announced plans to cut a further £3 million in costs as it reported a dip in first-half profits, but its Scottish operations look set to escape any job cuts.
The group, which employs about 130 people in Edinburgh, also said assets under management fell to £98.2 billion in the six months to the end of June, down from £108bn a year earlier, amid “challenging” market conditions.
Pre-tax profits dipped to £21m, from £22.6m at the half-way stage last year and the interim dividend was held at 1p.
Peel Hunt analyst Stuart Duncan said the figures showed F&C had made “significant progress” with a strategic review that it launched last year.
Edward Bramson, who was appointed executive chairman last year following the retirement of chief executive Alain Grisay, said F&C had benefited from gains in its institutional business and higher cost savings.
In May, the asset manager said it planned to extend its range of investment trusts and continue cost-cutting measures. Yesterday, it revealed that its cost savings target had risen by £3m to £48.8m, but a spokesman said there would be no redundancies in Scotland as a result.
F&C said its search for a new chief was continuing, and it hopes to have appointed a successor to Grisay in time for its annual meeting next year.
Rival Jupiter Fund Management also reported a small drop in assets under management to £23.4bn yesterday, down from £24.8bn for the first half of 2011. The firm said it had benefited from strong investment returns and positive flows of money into its mutual funds, and its operating margin remained above 50 per cent.
F&C’s underlying operating margin rose to 26.7 per cent in the first half, from 24 per cent a year ago, and Bramson said the firm was confident that it would improve further as a result of its latest cost-cutting exercise.
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