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Polar Capital doubles dividend as profit surges 165%

Polar Capital doubles dividend as profit surges 165%

Polar Capital has rewarded shareholders with a healthy dividend payout on the back of a strong period of performance.

In the six months to the end September pre-tax profit jumped from £3.8 million to £10.1 million, a rise of 165%, on the back of $3.2 billion of net inflows.

Assets under management were up 115% on the corresponding period of the previous year to $11.4 billion.

The numbers prompted Polar Capital to double its interim dividend from 2p to 4p.

The group attributed the strong performance to the popularity of its Japanese team, which it said received the majority of inflows over the period as 'Abenomics' captured the imagination of investors.  

The fund range includes the Polar Capital Japan fund run by Citywire AA-rated duo James Salter and Gerard Cawley, which has returned 22.3% in the three years to 3 December versus an 18.6% rise in the benchmark.

Polar Capital chief executive Tim Woolley (pictured) admitted the firm's immediate growth prospects are heavily connected to what happens in Japan.

'The company's growth rate over recent quarters has been exceptional and indeed over the last four years our AUM has increased more than five-fold. Our growth rate will undoubtedly slow over the coming quarters and years, Woolley said in a statement to the market.

'In the very near term our growth rate will be heavily influenced by the direction of the Japanese market and fund flows into or out of our Japanese funds given the percentage of overall assets these funds now represent.'  

However, with the boutique now operating 10 investment teams, which it is looking to increase to 12, Woolley is confident for the long term.  

'Over the longer term there remains significant opportunity for further growth in assets and profits if we continue to deliver on investment performance, client service and operational excellence and if global equity markets remain supportive,' he said.

At 10.25am shares in Polar Capital were down 1.24% at 490.25p.   

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James Salter
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