Rising markets lift Henderson to pounds 9.2m

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The Independent Online
RISING stock markets and the inclusion of Touche Remnant enabled Henderson Administration, the fund manager, to increase interim pre-tax profits by more than 40 per cent to pounds 9.2m, writes Paul Durman.

But this progress was not reflected in the interim dividend to shareholders, which was unchanged at 12.5p. Henderson feels the need to rebuild its balance sheet after the Touche Remnant purchase and to increase its dividend cover.

Jeremy Edwards, Henderson's managing director, said Touche Remnant had been successfully integrated. Expenses rose by only 4 per cent from the preceding half year to pounds 22.2m, while operating profits rose by 37 per cent to pounds 8.1m.

Mr Edwards said three or four of the pension funds previously managed by Touche Remnant appointed new managers, thus adding to Henderson's long-standing problem in its pensions business. Despite a stock market rise of more than 5 per cent over the six months to 30 September, total pension funds managed by the group fell from pounds 4.7bn to pounds 4.4bn.

The bad performance of 1988 is finally dropping out of the five-year performance figures, which are crucial to winning and holding on to pension fund clients.

Ben Wrey, Henderson's chairman, said that recent results looked much better. Mr Edwards said: 'We are seeing more opportunities than we have seen for some time.'