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09 Mar 2021 | 07:04

Standard Life Aberdeen profits fall as rebranding flagged later in 2021

(Sharecast News) - Asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen reported a 16.6% fall in annual profits as it declared a dividend and started to focus on client-led growth out of the Covid crisis. The company on Tuesday reported adjusted profit before tax of £487m from £584m as fee-based revenue declined to £1.42bn from £1.63bn, largely reflecting the impact of 2019 outflows.

Assets under management and administration at the end of 2020 fell to £534.6bn from £544.6bn, it said. A 7.3p-a-share final dividend was declared bringing the total to 14.6p a share.

SLA is looking to reposition itself after selling its Standard Life brand to insurer Phoenix Group in February. Phoenix bought Standard Life Aberdeen's European and UK insurance businesses in 2018.

The company said it was aiming to lower its cost-income ratio to 70% by the end of 2023, from a 2020 level of 85%.

SLA said it was now prioritising growth in Asia along with its UK adviser and consumer markets.

"We remain on track to deliver targeted synergies and have identified more that we can deliver," new chief executive Stephen Bird said in a statement.

"We have exited some non-core businesses and made an acquisition that has extended our capabilities in private markets. We have simplified and clarified leadership structures across the business and placed a refreshed focus on Asia," he added.

"Our rebranding activity is underway to bring the business under one unifying brand, with further details to come later in the year."
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