Majedie acquisition weighs heavily on Liontrust pre-tax profits

CEO said business in ‘good health’ despite outflows and M&A costs incurred

John Ions, CEO of Liontrust
John Ions


The six months to 30 September saw Liontrust Asset Management’s profit before tax fall 55% compared to the same period in 2021 in the wake of £28.8m worth of acquisition and restructuring costs in addition to suffering outflows.

Assets under management and advice (AUMA) fell to £31.7bn as of 30 September, having dropped 5.5% from £33.5bn at the start of the firm’s financial first half.

During the six-month period, net outflows totalled £2.2bn, compared to £2bn of inflows during the same period last year, with an additional £4.8bn lost as a result of market movements and investment performance.

The FTSE 250 fund manager added £5bn in assets after completing its acquisition of Majedie Asset Management on 1 April, but AUMA was still down 11% on the same date last year.

Non-executive chair Alistair Barbour said that the acquisition of Majedie had been affected by global events, and their subsequent impact on investment markets, but added that this was something the firm could not have foreseen. Nevertheless, he was confident in its long-term strategy of continued diversification and distribution capability, claiming that it would lead to a “more robust and resilient business over the long term”.

Liontrust’s adjusted profit before tax, which excludes amortisation, impairment, and non-recurring items – such as professional fees relating to acquisitions, restructuring, and severance compensation – grew 9% on the equivalent period last year, reaching £42.9m.

Gross profit for the half also increased on the firm’s H1 last year, albeit by 0.2%, to hit £108.8m.

CEO John Ions (pictured) said that the company takes its responsibility as “guardians of investors’ savings” very seriously. He added: “This is particularly important given the current cost of living crisis and the volatility we have seen in investment markets.

“While we expect this volatility to continue, the Liontrust business remains in good health. The company is financially strong, investment processes are robust, the brand profile is high and positive, and there is extensive client engagement.

“The board’s confidence in the outlook for the business is shown by the fact that Liontrust is maintaining the same interim dividend payment as last year at 22p.”

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