Underlying profits at F&C near doubled over the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2012, rising from £22.1 million to £37.3 million, despite assets under management falling 6%.

Underlying margin saw a similar sharp increase, from 26.8% to 37.6%, helping the group back into the black with a headline profit of £8.9 million, versus a £4.7 million loss previously.

At 8.55, shares in the company were up 3.7% or 3.5p to 97.9p, although still well below the high of above 110p which they reached earlier this year.

Chief executive Richard Wilson credited the gains to a combination of cost-cutting and an increasing flow of new business.

‘As a business F&C is now more competitive and more profitable and our strong investment performance will underpin delivery of continued revenue growth in our consumer and institutional business,’ he said.

Underlying earnings per share rose 66% on 2012 to 4.8p. Over the 12 months, 83% of assets managed by the group rose ‘above agreed client benchmarks’.

The fall in funds managed from £98.2 billion to £92.3 billion was primarily due to a previously announced removal of £6 billion by former parent company Friends Provident.  

Retail funds rose £200 million over the period, while third party institutional funds rose £500 million, but the wholesale business registered outflows of £300 million.