At close of business on 11 November, however, AUM stood at £5.6bn.
With £272m through acquisition and £530m through investment and market performance, the group said its positive net asset flow of £92m over the past six months was “pleasing” against the industry’s broader period of underperformance as it releases its half-yearly financial statement.
Reporting net inflows of £110m for the same period in 2015, chief executive John Ions conceded the challenges posed by 2016, adding that the Investment Association UK All Companies sector the worst seller in six of the first nine months of the year.
In the six months to 30 September, revenues increased by 18%, from £18.7m to £22m compared with the same period last year, while adjusted pre-tax profit rose by 16%, from £5.9m to £6.8m.
The statement explained how the pre-tax profit figure of £2.2m included costs of £4.6m relating to the acquisition of the European income franchise from Argonaut Capital Partners, a move that saw Olly Russ join the firm, as well as pertaining to contracts acquired through the purchase of Walker Crips in 2012.
With adjusted diluted earnings per share of 11.9p, an increase of 16% on last year’s figure of 10.2p per share, Liontrust will be paying out a dividend of 4p per share on 22 December – an increase of 33% versus the same period last year, which was also attributed in part to the Argonaut deal.
Payable to shareholders on the register on 25 November, the shares will go ex-dividend on 24 November.
On the group’s growth, Ions added: “[It] has come during a challenging period for fund management groups. The vote on 23 June in favour of Britain leaving the EU and the US Presidential election campaign have exacerbated significantly the political uncertainty this year and the industry has suffered negative sales of equity funds every month in 2016 among retail investors, with the UK All Companies sector being the worst net seller in six of the first nine months of the year. It is, therefore, pleasing that we have generated net positive flows over the last two quarters.”
Having recently appointed Miton’s Ian Chimes as head of global distribution, Liontrust remains committed to active management, engaging with its client base and growing its distribution.
Adrian Collins, non-executive chairman, praised Ions in his statement. He said: “The development of Liontrust over the past six years under the leadership of John Ions has laid tremendous foundations for ensuring the company is successful well into the future. We continue to diversify our fund management capability while focusing on those asset classes where we believe we have particular expertise.
“Our distribution is expanding in continental Europe to build on the success we have enjoyed in the UK over the past few years. We continue to develop brand awareness and engagement in the UK. We have been investing in the business, such as implementing a new dealing system, to ensure we can support further growth over the coming months and years.
“We are well placed to withstand any external uncertainty or shocks, such as the unprecedented vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016 and the unpredictable US Presidential election campaign in the first half of our financial year. This gives me great confidence, therefore, about the ability of Liontrust to continue to achieve our growth ambitions over the next six years.”