* Revenues down 14 pct to 1 bln stg
* On track to meet 70 mln stg in cost cuts
* Shares up 2.5 pct (Recasts, adds detail from statement, share reaction, CEO quote)
By Simon Jessop
LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Aberdeen Asset Management’s assets rose during its latest financial year, with improving emerging market sentiment, currency gains and the impact of recent acquisitions cushioning a slide in revenues and profits.
The investment manager has been hit hard by waning appetite for emerging markets, but said it had seen “healthy” net inflows into its emerging market stock funds in the final quarter.
Aberdeen posted a 28 percent drop in full-year pretax profit to 352.7 million pounds, hit by outflows across a range of products including its multi-asset funds, but in line with an analyst consensus forecast of 350 million pounds, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Revenue in the year fell by 14 percent to 1 billion pounds ($1.24 billion), broadly in-line with forecasts, helping the firm to maintain its dividend at 19.5 pence a share, a commitment some had suggested it may struggle to meet.
“A year ago we warned that Aberdeen would face a tough year and it has done so, but it has faced those difficult conditions with considerable resilience and, importantly, shareholders have seen a maintained dividend,” Cenkos analyst Rae Maile said.
Aberdeen said it was on-track to hit its annualised cost-savings target of 70 million pounds and at 0921 GMT its shares were up 2.4 percent at 293 pence.
However, the firm gave a cautious outlook for 2017, after reporting net outflows over the period were 32.8 billion pounds, which included 8 billion pounds from its multi asset and quantitative funds.
“Future political and economic events, including the UK’s negotiations to exit the EU, the start of President-elect Trump’s term in office and European elections, will contribute to ongoing volatility in global markets in the short term,” Aberdeen’s chairman Simon Troughton said.
Total assets at year-end were 312.1 billion pounds, up 10 percent, helped by the acquisitions of FLAG Capital Management, Arden Asset Management, Advance Emerging Capital and Parmenion Capital Partners, as well as market value improvements and currency gains.
In response to a recent report from Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority about value in the fund management industry, Chief Executive Martin Gilbert said the firm supported plans to introduce a single fee for investors. ($1 = 0.8041 pounds) (Editing by Rachel Armstrong and Alexander Smith)