Standard Life profits rise ahead of £11bn AAM merger

Financial giant Standard Life today reported a better-than-expected rise in half-year profits ahead of next week's planned £11 billion tie-up with Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM).

Standard Life is set to complete its merger with Aberdeen Asset Management on Monday. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The Edinburgh-based life and pensions group said pre-tax operating profits for the six months to the end of June rose 6 per cent to £362 million – ahead of the £353m pencilled in by City analysts.

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Assets under administration edged ahead by 1 per cent to £361.9bn, helped by “record” net inflows into its adviser platforms, while fee-based revenues grew 5 per cent to £836m.

Standard Life Aberdeen will be run by Martin Gilbert, left, and Keith Skeoch. Picture: Graham Flack

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 7p a share – an increase of 8.2 per cent on last time.

Standard Life is due to complete its merger with AAM on 14 August, creating one of the world’s biggest fund management groups with some £670bn of assets.

Announced in March, the deal is set to deliver cost savings of £200m a year, with about 800 jobs expected to be lost from a combined global workforce of 9,000 over a three-year period. Final approval for the tie-up is expected at a court hearing scheduled for Friday.

Standard Life Aberdeen will be run by Martin Gilbert, left, and Keith Skeoch. Picture: Graham Flack

The combined group, to be called Standard Life Aberdeen, will be jointly run by current Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch and his counterpart at AAM, Martin Gilbert.

Skeoch said today that the combined leadership team has been “working well together” to make sure the merged business is ready from “day one”.

He added: “We are well placed to continue to meet changing client and customer needs globally, and to generate growing and sustainable returns for our shareholders.”