Edinburgh reports downturn

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The Independent Online
EDINBURGH Fund Managers won pounds 100m of new business in the first six months, but profits fell 23 per cent to pounds 1.89m compared with a year earlier, writes Peter Rodgers.

This was because of lower profits on unit trust trading, lower interest rates, which affected cash deposits, and the administrative costs of organising a planned office move within Edinburgh.

The outlook is no better, with a decline in earnings 'of a comparable magnitude' expected in the current half-year, although Edinburgh promised to peg the full year dividend at last year's 8p.

Colin Ross, chairman, said this reflected the company's strong financial position.

The firm's funds under management declined by 3 per cent over the period as stock markets in all areas apart from the Pacific Basin fell in sterling terms over the half-year to July.

'Despite having to report lower earnings per share, the fundamental long-term strengths of our position have not changed,' Mr Ross said. Interim dividend is 5p.

Earnings per share fell to 6.9p from 9.5p a year earlier after the effects of a higher tax charge.