Fund manager Ashmore sees 6% profit drop on outflows

LONDON (Reuters) -Emerging markets-focused fund manager Ashmore reported a 6% fall in annual profit on Wednesday and assets under management slumped by almost a quarter, as investors sought to curb risk amid choppy financial markets worldwide.

Ashmore said it saw net outflows of $11.5 billion over the financial year ended June 30, taking its assets under management to $55.9 billion.

The fund manager reported a profit before tax of 112 million pounds ($140.88 million), which was supported by higher interest on cash balances following a slew of central bank rate rises.

Emerging markets have had a choppy few years with stocks and bonds suffering hefty losses as the COVID-19 crisis and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine roiled the global economy.

“We’ve been through a cycle in emerging markets…but we feel there is good evidence emerging now that there is a recovery coming through,” said Tom Shippey, Ashmore’s group finance director.

The firm slashed variable pay for staff by 24% in a reflection of the decline in performance with adjusted net revenue suffering a matching fall.

Ashmore said it would maintain its final ordinary dividend at 12.1 pence per share, to give total dividends per share of 16.9 pence.

Ashmore shares fell more than 2% in early trade following the results, and are now down more than 20% since the start of the year in a fourth straight year of double-digit falls.

($1 = 0.7950 pounds)

(Reporting By Lawrence White and Karin Strohecker, editing by Sinead Cruise and Dhara Ranasinghe)