A swift return to economic growth was not guaranteed, with the shape of any recovery dependent on whether a vaccine can be found to halt COVID-19, Skeoch said on Friday after SLA’s first half pre-tax profit fell to 195 million pounds ($255 million).
This was above expectations of 179 million pounds and followed a 10% fall in first-half profit reported by SLA’s rival Schroders last week.
“The outlook for markets is tough. I don’t think this recovery without a vaccine is going to be V-shaped, it’s going to be W-shaped,” he told a media call, adding that the success of vaccines for some strains of flu was only around 40%.
SLA said it would pay an interim dividend of 7.3 pence per share, unchanged from a year ago but above a forecast 6.8 pence.
KBW analysts described the results as a “mixed bag” but highlighted the retention of the dividend, retaining their “market perform” rating on the stock.
SLA’s shares were steady at 264 pence at 0748 GMT, against a 0.2% gain in the FTSE 100.
Skeoch also said the importance of responsible investing was “something the COVID crisis is going to accelerate”.
SLA’s fee-based revenue dropped 13% to 706 million pounds due to 2019 outflows, clients switching to lower-fee assets, and a scheduled withdrawal of assets by Lloyds Banking Group. This was below analyst forecasts of 717 million pounds.
The firm’s assets under management and administration fell 6% to 512 billion pounds, above a forecast 506 billion.
Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Alexander Smith
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