AJ Bell H1 profit up 39% as assets top £65bn

AJ Bell CEO Andy Bell

Salford-based investment platform AJ Bell said on Thursday its revenue rose 21% to £73.9 million in the six months to March 31, 2021, with profit before tax up 39% to £31.6 million.

Interim dividend is up 64% to 2.46p per share.

AJ Bell said total customers increased by a record 51,492 in the period, up 32% over the last 12 months and up 17% in the first half of the current financial year.

The firm reported total net inflows of £3.1 billion (HY20: £2.1 billion), driven by platform net inflows of £3.3 billion (HY20: £2.5 billion).

Assets under administration rose 35% over the last 12 months and 15% in the first half of the current financial year, closing at £65.2 billion.

AJ Bell CEO Andy Bell said: “We have delivered a strong financial performance in the first half of the year, driven by record levels of new customers, inflows and dealing activity, with revenue up 21% and profit before tax up 39%.

“The average age of our new direct-to-consumer customers was 38 in the first half of the year, five years younger than the average of the wider customer base.

“Average portfolio values remained high at £79,000.

“Our record number of new customers has been helped by the low interest rate environment, as savers seek higher returns on cash held in savings accounts and Cash ISAs.

“Our advised platform proposition remains very popular with advisers, who appreciate the wider adoption of digital processes to support their remote working and the highly competitive charging structure.

“The recent acquisition of Adalpha will accelerate the development of a new mobile-focused platform to enhance our advised proposition and enable advisers to service a wider range of clients.

“Our investment business has performed extremely well, supporting both our advised and direct-to-consumer platform propositions, with total AUM increasing by 75% in the first half of the year.

“The recent additions of the AJ Bell Responsible Growth fund and Responsible Managed Portfolio service to our suite of investment solutions have proved very popular with customers and advisers.  

We have a resilient business model, our financial position is strong, we continue to grow market share and the outlook for the business remains positive.”