St James’s Place has lifted its final dividend 50% as it reports a strong business performance in 2014.
In its annual results for the year ended 31 December, 2014, St James’s announced an underlying cash result of £173.8m (up 24% from £139.9m in 2013); a new business profit of £373.1m (up 14% from £327.2m); and, an operating profit of £596.4m (up 29% from £462.7m).
In terms of strategic initiatives, St James’s pointed to a continued expansion of regional Academy centres and a back office infrastructure project on target to drive business efficiencies. It also gave news of a St. James’s Place Money Management Account, in association with Metro Bank, which is to be launched in April.
In terms of new business, total new single investments were £7.8bn (up 18% from £6.6 bn); net inflow of funds under management were £5.09bn (up 20% from £4.23bn); and, funds under management were £52bn (from £44.3bn).
The total number of qualified advisers rose by 10.3% to 2,835.
Chief Executive Officer David Bellamy commented:
“I am pleased to once again be reporting strong performance in all aspects of our business in 2014.
“Our success has been built on our fundamental belief in the value of a human relationship and the highly personal interaction, putting the client and adviser at the core of everything we do. That focus will not change and will continue to be the foundation of our future growth.
“At the time of our interim results, given our confidence in the continuing growth and maturity in funds under management, and expectation of strong growth in the underlying cash result, we announced a 40% increase in the 2014 interim dividend and indicated that the full year dividend would increase by a similar amount. The final underlying cash result of £173.8 million was higher than expected at that time, enabling the Board to propose a 50% increase in the final dividend of 14.37 pence per share, taking the total dividend for the year to 23.30 pence per share, up 46% on 2013. This gives a full year payout of 70% of the underlying cash and in future years we expect our dividend payout ratio to be broadly in line with 75% of the cash result.
“This year we will seek to further strengthen our relationship with our clients by exploring opportunities to enhance our proposition, through the continual development of our approach to the management of their wealth and the addition of complementary services, so that we are able to offer a more complete proposition. We’re going to start with the introduction of a new banking service in April, The St. James’s Place Money Management Account. Fully branded St. James’s Place, but powered by Metro Bank, the account will offer eligible clients a fully functional banking service. In addition, the account will have the added benefit of an integrated secured overdraft facility, providing immediate access to short term funds, secured against the value of their St. James’s Place investment portfolio. We are delighted to be working with Metro Bank and look forward to being able to offer this additional facility for our clients.
“I have said on many occasions, that there is a reassuring consistency about our business that is once again reflected in these results. We begin 2015 with confidence that we are well positioned for future growth, in line with our medium to long-term objectives.”
St James’s Place plans to continue its growth via acquisitions and with IFAs joining as partners. Those IFAs interested in receiving more information, should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.