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Liontrust: king of the pride

The specialist asset manager put in an excellent half as retail investor funds sloshed in
Liontrust: king of the pride
  • Third quarter net retail sales were second highest in the UK
  • Sustainable investment is the key driver 

The half-year results for Liontrust Asset Management (LIO) showed the definite advantage of being able to press the flesh again in fund management circles. For a business where relationships and a certain refined poise are everything when it comes to a company’s image, Liontrust has the personnel to perform well above average for the sector. Net in-flows to its funds rose 19 per cent in the period to £2.1bn, which brought total assets under management (AuM) to £35.7bn, which is itself a 73 per cent jump in a year.

Much of this can be attributed to a sharp sales focus - helped by a spate of 'best fund manager' awards - which combined with a deft move into the ESG investing space. The company’s sustainable investment fund is by far its single largest with £13.2bn of AuM, with almost of all this figure comprising retail money. A heavy presence among DIY investors reflects Liontrust’s extensive, and slick, marketing efforts directed at networks of independent financial advisors and the success of that strategy can be objectively quantified. In fact, according to the Pridham report, Liontrust attracted the second highest retail sales in the third quarter of 2021.

Broker Panmure Gordon forecasts EPS of 116 and 133p for this year and next, respectively, which translates to a price/earnings ratio of 15.6 for the 12 months to March 2023. By the standards of the sector Liontrust is at the mid-to-higher end of scale for asset managers, but, market conditions depending, there is room for growth if it continues to attract significant in-flows. Buy.

Last IC View: Buy, 1,662p, 23 Jun 2021

LIONTRUST ASSET MANAGEMENT (LIO) 
ORD PRICE:2,075pMARKET VALUE:£1.1bn
TOUCH:2,074-2,090p12-MONTH HIGH:2,560pLOW: 1,170p
DIVIDEND YIELD:2.8%PE RATIO:26
NET ASSET VALUE:305p*NET CASH:

£78m

Half-year to 30 SepTurnover (£m)Pre-tax profit (£m)Earnings per share (p)Dividend per share (p)
202069.06.879.2111.0
202111531.143.322.0
% change+66+352+370+100
Ex-div:9 Dec   
Payment:14 Jan   
*Includes goodwill and intangible assets of £108m, or 194p a share