AJ Bell (AJB) reveals boom in first-time investors
By Rob Griffin
12:05, 2 December 2021
UK trading platform AJ Bell has enjoyed a record year with an increasing number of people starting to invest in the wake of Covid-19.
The company saw total customers rise 87,449 to 382,754, with net inflows of £6.4bn ($8.5bn) and assets under administration hitting a record £72.8bn.
In a statement, it also reported pre-tax profit had risen 13% to £55.1m for the year ending 30 September 2021, while revenue was up 15% to £145.8m.
Share price slips
AJ Bell also revealed a final dividend of 4.5p, as well as a special dividend of 5p-per-share. This brings the total dividend for the year to 11.96p-per-share.
Customer retention rate remained high at 95%, while the company said diluted earnings per share had risen 13% to 10.67p – compared to 9.47p for the full-year 2020.
Despite the positive set of results, AJ Bell’s stock price actually slipped 1.37% to 389.6p by late morning in London, which is believed to be due to profit-taking.
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CEO Andy Bell said he continued to see significant long-term opportunities in the investment platform market.
“The pandemic has highlighted the need for people to take more control over their financial future, with increasing numbers of people investing for the first time,” he said.
He also pointed out that Dodl by AJ Bell, a new investment app, will enable retail investors to invest easily in a range of UK equities and funds, via a full range of tax wrappers.
AJ Bell also announced that Peter Birch will join the company as CFO at the beginning of July 2022, subject to FCA approval.
Chair Les Platts said: “His significant financial services experience, built up over many years, will make a valuable contribution to the Board."
In a statement, Birch said he had followed AJ Bell’s progress for many years and had always been impressed by its “strong culture” and customer focus.
“It is an exciting time to join the business and I look forward to helping the company to deliver on its long-term growth strategy,” he added.
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