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Polar Capital profit jumps 131% as it rushes towards £15bn

The firm registered a £900 million inflow in the six months to the end of September, helping lifting assets by 23% to £14.7 billion.

Polar Capital profit jumps 131% as it rushes towards £15bn

Polar Capital's profit has surged thanks in part to a net inflow of £900 million in the six months to the end of September.

This, alongside an additional £1.8 billion boost from positive markets and fund performance, helped lift assets under management by 23% over the six months to £14.7 billion. 

Year on year pre-tax profit jumped 133% to £27.3 million. Core profit (excluding performance fees and other income) increased from £12 million to £21.7 million.

Polar declared an interim dividend of 8p per share, up from the 6p in January 20018. 

Polar chief Gavin Rochussen (pictured) was pleased with the performance and hopes his firm's approach can help counter the uncertain times ahead. 

'While we have had a highly satisfactory first six months, there is no doubt that we will encounter more volatile markets and a reduction in risk appetite by investors as developed markets begin to reduce accommodative monetary policy in the case of Europe and Japan and as the US continues to normalise interest rates with monetary tightening,' Rochussen told the market. 

'Our active, bottom-up, fundamental fund strategies have exposure to all global markets and are positioned to take advantage of valuation anomalies that arise in good quality, publicly-traded companies.' 

Polar highlighted that as at 30 September, 62% of its Ucits fund AUM was ranked top quartile, 68% over three years and 89% over five. 

'Low interest rates have driven outperformance of growth and quality styles versus value,' Rochussen said. 

'This has been a contributory factor in the outperformance of Polar Capital's technology and healthcare strategies versus their benchmarks.'

Polar noted net inflows were broadly dispersed across its fund range.

This included £402 million into technology funds, of which £27 million went into its Automation & Artificial Intelligence fund that launched in October 2017.

Meanwhile the North American fund registered a £218 million inflow, the UK Value Opportunities fund £125 million, the Biotechnology fund £91 million and the Global Convertible Bond fund £93 million. 

However, its Japan team lost £144 million as it continued to face 'performance headwinds'. Its Emerging Markets Income fund, despite improved performance, suffered a £25 million outflow, while the financials team's Income Opportunities and Financial Opportunities funds recorded outflows of £43 million.

Polar also diversified its product range over the six months with the launch of three emerging market funds after recruiting a five-strong team. 

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