Gilbert in £4.8m sale after AAM’s forecast-beating results

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Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) chief executive Martin Gilbert has sold almost £4.8 million worth of shares in the fund manager, just three months after raising more than £4m in a similar move.

Gilbert, who co-founded AAM 30 years ago, cashed in more than one million shares at 444p each on Wednesday, the firm said in a stock market announcement yesterday. The sale came two days after the fund manager posted a 37 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £222.8m for the six months to the end of March, well ahead of analysts’ consensus forecasts of £205m.

Revenues surged 25 per cent to £516m and the group said positive global market conditions helped assets under management grow to £212.3 billion, an increase of 13 per cent since the start of the financial year.

AAM said Gilbert, who is also chairman of Aberdeen-based transport giant FirstGroup, had sold the shares to diversify his investment portfolio.

In February, Gilbert raised just over £4m when he sold one million shares for 403.5p each, and the latest sale leaves him holding an interest in almost 4.4 million AAM shares.

The fund manager benefited from a raft of broker upgrades following its forecast-beating interim results, with Morgan Stanley raising its price target from 478p to 548p. The broker has an “overweight” rating on AAM’s stock, as does JP Morgan, which hiked its price target from 532p to 573p.

AAM, which was promoted to the top-flight FTSE 100 index last year, has seen its shares surge by 55 per cent over the past 12 months.

Investors are in line for a 36 per cent increase in the interim dividend to 6p following this week’s results, and analysts expect the firm to embark on a share buy-back programme.