Citing adverse market conditions, Polar Capital reported its assets under management falling from £8.3bn to £7.8bn, primarily driven by redemptions from its Japan funds which saw assets under management fall 33% from £3.6bn to £2.4bn.
This led to pre-tax profit decreasing 4.9% year-on-year to £31.1m, while profit before share-based payments fell from £34.2m to £33.7m. However, the firm’s core operating profit excluding performance fees rose 13% to £27.7m.
The figures translated into a hit for Polar Capital’s shareholders, with basic earnings per share sliding 10.8% to 27.46p per share – down from 30.78p the previous year – adjusted diluted earnings per share of 28.12p per share against 29.04p in 2014.
Despite this, dividends were unaffected, with 25p per share to be paid for the year – in line with the 2014 total – along with second interim dividend of 19.5p per ordinary share.
Polar Capital’s best performing funds were its healthcare and technology offerings, which rose 26.9% and 13.6% to £1.5bn and £2.04bn respectively.
“The sizeable outflows from our main Japan UCITS fund together with some modest profit taking in the Global Insurance fund meant that our more moderate but well spread inflows failed to match our outflows this year,” said Tom Bartlam, chairman of Polar Capital.
Tim Woolley, Polar Capital CEO, added: “We still have scope to add one further team without altering our founding strategy, which has served us well so far and of course there is considerable scope to expand the existing teams and the products they offer.”