Strong interim results at AJ Bell means more brand investment
Revenue at finance platform AJ Bell increased 37% to £103.6 million and profit before tax rose 61% to £41.9 million for the six-month period ended 31 March 2023.
It means the Manchester headquartered business will invest further in new products and the well marketed brand.
The company currently sponsors the shared rugby stadium in Salford and was the sponsor of the Greater Manchester 10K last weekend.
Brand-building activity centres around ‘feel good, investing’ and a multi-channel advertising campaign.
The business is also underway with a five-year partnership as the title sponsor of the Great Run series, including the flagship AJ Bell Great North Run, the world’s largest half-marathon and the UK’s biggest running event, with 60,000 entrants.
Michael Summersgill, Chief Executive Officer at AJ Bell, commented: “We continue to focus intently on our customer proposition and service offering, which has ensured we continue to welcome new customers to our platform and retain existing ones. This helped generate strong net inflows of £2 billion during a period of challenging market conditions, which contributed to platform assets under administration increasing to £68.6 billion.
“The strength of our pension offering ensures we are in a good position to benefit from the removal of the pension lifetime allowance charge and increases to pension annual allowances in April. We have campaigned for pension simplification for many years and believe these welcome changes will give customers the freedom to invest more in their pensions without having to worry about tax penalties as their investments grow over time.
“We have recently called for similarly bold action from the Government in the ISA market in order to further simplify investing for consumers. At their core ISAs are a simple, tax-efficient savings account but the multiple versions that now exist make it hard for people to know which one is right for them. We believe there only needs to be one ISA that condenses the multiple variants back into a single product that is easy to understand and more likely to encourage investment.
“Our dual-channel platform and range of low-cost investment solutions help people take control of their investments, whether they do that on their own or with the help of a financial adviser. This breadth of offering, combined with high service standards and competitive charges, positions us well to continue attracting new customers and assets to our platform and further increase our market share.”
Panmure Gordon analyst Rae Maile issued a recommendation to BUY shares in the business on the back of the interim figures, noting the importance of the brand building. He said: “It is not tricky: the platform market is growing faster than financial services and AJ Bell is growing faster than the platform market. The structural growth drivers are firmly in place, while attempts to reform pensions savings are helpful. The company has been investing in its brand and the benefits are increasingly being seen. The company says it has had a strong trading performance over the tax year end, only part of which has yet been reported. With structural tailwinds to the business, we think the shares are materially undervalued.”