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AJ Bell slips on slower growth in quarterly flows

The investment platform saw 4% in customer numbers, while assets rose 5% quarter-on-quarter to £47.2bn

AJ Bell -

AJ Bell PLC (LON:AJB) has enjoyed positive net inflows onto its investment platform in the first three months of its new financial year, but the rate of growth was slightly slower than before.

“December saw the unlocking of the parliamentary deadlock, which boosted markets towards the end of the period,” said chief executive Andy Bell.

READ: AJ Bell dips as directors trouser £25.7mln from discounted placing

AUA on the platform stood at £47.2bn at the end of December, up 5% over the quarter as advised funds increased 4% to £35.2bn and direct to consumer assets rose 8% to £12bn.

Total customer numbers increased 4% in the quarter to 241,152, of which platform numbers were up 4% to 227,202 as the number of advisor-led clients rose 2% on the previous quarter and 6% on the direct-to-consumer side.

There were underlying inflows in the quarter of £1.3bn, while outflows were £0.6bn, leading to total net inflows to the platform of £0.9bn compared to the £1.1bn reported in same period a year ago.

Market disappointment

Analysts at Liberum said: “Given the performance from IntegraFin yesterday this might be seen as slightly disappointing.”

Over at Peel Hunt the observation was that it was "good growth in AuA, slightly slower flows".

Peel Hunt noted that net inflows to the advised platform were lower than the previous quarter and inflows to the platform were lower than the 2.5% reported by Integrafin, which has "seen an improving trend over last few quarters [while] AJ Bell has been relatively flat".

"Despite this, AJ Bell trades on a premium EV/EBIT multiple of 36.0x."

AJ Bell shares fell more than 1% to 398.5p in early trade on Wednesday. 

Quick facts: AJ Bell PLC

Price: 405 GBX

LSE:AJB
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.66 billion
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