AJ Bell platform assets rise to £68.6bn; profit up 61%

AJ Bell plc, the Salford-based investment platform giant, reported that its revenue rose 37% to £103.6 million and profit before tax soared 61% to £41.9 million in the six months to March 31, 2023.

Interim dividend of 3.50p per share is up 26% on the prior year.

In its platform business, AJ Bell said customer numbers rose 7% in the first half to 455,008.

Platform assets under administration (AUA) rose 7% in the first half to £68.6 billion, driven by net inflows of £2 billion (HY22: £3.0 billion) and favourable market movements of £2.5 billion.

At the firm’s AJ Bell Investments business, assets under management (AUM) increased by 39% in the first half to close at £3.9 billion.

AJ Bell CEO Michael Summersgill said: “Our first-half results announced today demonstrate the strength of our business model and how our diversified revenue streams enable us to perform well in a range of different market conditions.

“Revenue increased 37% to £103.6 million and profit before tax rose 61% to £41.9 million which means we can continue to invest in our customer offering, our people and our brand, whilst simultaneously increasing our interim dividend to shareholders.

“We continue to focus intently on our customer proposition and service offering, which has ensured we continue to welcome new customers to our platform and retain existing ones.

“This helped generate strong net inflows of £2 billion during a period of challenging market conditions, which contributed to platform assets under administration increasing to £68.6 billion.

“The strength of our pension offering ensures we are in a good position to benefit from the removal of the pension lifetime allowance charge and increases to pension annual allowances in April.

“We have campaigned for pension simplification for many years and believe these welcome changes will give customers the freedom to invest more in their pensions without having to worry about tax penalties as their investments grow over time.

“We have recently called for similarly bold action from the Government in the ISA market in order to further simplify investing for consumers.

“At their core ISAs are a simple, tax-efficient savings account but the multiple versions that now exist make it hard for people to know which one is right for them.

“We believe there only needs to be one ISA that condenses the multiple variants back into a single product that is easy to understand and more likely to encourage investment.

“Our dual-channel platform and range of low-cost investment solutions help people take control of their investments, whether they do that on their own or with the help of a financial adviser.

“This breadth of offering, combined with high service standards and competitive charges, positions us well to continue attracting new customers and assets to our platform and further increase our market share.”