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Ashmore shares gain as it reports 26% rise in 2018 assets under management

"Ashmore has delivered a strong operating performance over the financial year,” said chief executive Mark Coombs
Ashmore says the outlook remains positive

Ashmore group PLC (LON:ASHM) reported a 26% increase in assets under management (AuM) for the year as it achieved record net inflows on the back of strong retail demand.

AuM rose to US$73.9bn in the year to June 30 from US$58.7bn last year, supported by net inflows of US$16.9bn. The retail business, which accounts for 14% of AuM, delivered a 47% increase in AUM.

The emerging markets asset manager said it saw the most significant flows into blended debt, local currency, short duration and specialist equity products.

Net revenue increased 11% to US$278.3mln, boosted by growth in net management fee income

Adjusted earnings (EBITDA) increased 14% to US$183.6mln and the adjusted EBITDA margin rose to 66% from 65% as Ashmore keep a tight control on costs.

However, profit before tax edged down 7.2% to US$191.3mln.

READ: Ashmore shares jump as it reports 10% growth in third-quarter assets

Ashmore declared a final dividend per share of 12.1p, bringing the total payout for the year to 16.65p, in line with last year.

"Ashmore has delivered a strong operating performance over the financial year, driven by continued investment outperformance, record inflows, an ongoing commitment to cost discipline and good cash generation,” said chief executive Mark Coombs.

He added: “While asset prices were more volatile in the final quarter of the financial year, this largely reflected nervousness about a small number of emerging countries with particular issues such as Turkey, with the market extrapolating these concerns across the broad and highly diverse emerging markets universe of more than 70 countries. This mispricing, therefore, presents another very appealing entry point for investors.”

Coombs said the strong net flows delivered in 2018 may not be repeated in the near term but the outlook remains positive thanks to attractive emerging market valuations, Ashmore's “strong investment track record” and underweight investor allocations. 

Shares rose 2.3% to 353p in morning trading. 

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