Record number of new customers drive revenues at AJ Bell

Andy Bell

Investment platform AJ Bell had hailed a strong half year driven by record numbers of new customers.

The Salford company reported revenues of £73.9m for the six months to the end of March 2021. That was up 21 per cent for the same period in the previous year.

Pre-tax profits were also up 39 per vent from £22.7m to £31.6m.

Total customers for the period increased by a record 51,492 in the period, up 32 per cent over the last 12 months and 17 per cent in the first half of the current financial year. That was helped by the low interest rate environment, as savers sought higher returns on cash held in savings accounts and Cash ISAs, the company said.

Assets under management were up 180 per cent over the last 12 months and 75 per cent in the first half of the current financial year, closing at £1.4bn.

The company said the average age of new direct-to-consumer customers was now 38 in the first half of the year, five years younger than the average of the wider customer base.

Average portfolio values remained high at £79,000.

Andy Bell, CEO at AJ Bell, said: “Our advised platform proposition remains very popular with advisers, who appreciate the wider adoption of digital processes to support their remote working and the highly competitive charging structure.

“The recent acquisition of Adalpha will accelerate the development of a new mobile-focused platform to enhance our advised proposition and enable advisers to service a wider range of clients.

“Our investment business has performed extremely well, supporting both our advised and direct-to-consumer platform propositions, with total AUM increasing by 75% in the first half of the year.

“The recent additions of the AJ Bell Responsible Growth fund and Responsible Managed Portfolio service to our suite of investment solutions have proved very popular with customers and advisers.

“We have a resilient business model, our financial position is strong, we continue to grow market share and the outlook for the business remains positive.”

The board has also recommended an interim dividend of 2.46 pence per share, up from 1.5p per share for the same period last year.

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