Standard Life operating profit up 9% to £665m

Standard Life Aberdeen CEO Keith Skeoch

Edinburgh-based Standard Life said on Friday its operating profit before tax rose 9% to £665 million in 2015 — beating analysts’ forecasts of £616 million — as the investment, pensions and insurance group continued to expand its global reach.

Group assets under administration increased by 4% to £307.4 billion in volatile markets, benefiting from strong net inflows of £6.3 billion.

Assets under management increased to £253.2 billion from £245.9 billion in 2014.

About 67% of Standard Life’s net inflows came from outside the UK.

The company’s final dividend was 12.34p, making a total of 18.36p, up 7.8% for the year.

“During 2015 Standard Life has made considerable progress towards creating a world-class investment company against a backdrop of volatile investment markets and an evolving regulatory landscape,” said Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch.

“We have increased the assets that we administer on behalf of our clients and customers to £307 billion with almost two thirds of these assets now coming from our growth channels.

“Investments are at the heart of what we do and we now manage £253 billion of assets across the globe driven by strong investment performance.

“We continue to see the benefits of our expanding distribution capabilities and strategic relationships with 67% of net inflows of £12.6 billion into our institutional and wholesale growth channels coming from outside of the UK.

“We also continue to build momentum in pensions and savings across our workplace and retail channels.

“Regular contributions into our workplace pensions continue to grow strongly while our wrap platform attracted record net inflows and continues to lead in the advised platform market.

“While the difficult conditions in global financial markets may persist for some time, Standard Life remains well positioned to meet the needs of clients and customers around the world.”