Standard Life Aberdeen; results (pages and pages of it!)

Standard life Aberdeen (SLA.L, FTSE 100, Market Cap ÂŁ6.1bn, 245p, 2.6% of JIC Portfolio and 0.0% of JIC Top 10)
Results for the year ended 31st December 2018.Where to start!There were no less than eight separate RNS releases on these results this morning. Clearly, I haven’t read them all but the main points to me are.

Adjusted earnings per share for continuing operations, were 17.8p, up from 17.2p.

Net flows of funds under management were as bad as expected at -40.9bn, 7% of starting assets.

The co-CEO role has been disbanded with Keith Skeoch becoming the sole CEO and Martin Gilbert promoted to vice-chairman.

Cash generation continued to be strong at £453m with 88% tax conversion. The final dividend will be 14.3p, making 21.6 for the year, (up from 21.3p). Going forward it intends to maintain the dividend at the current level until changes to the business “provides line of sight for future growth”.

Conclusion: There are pages and pages of comment on how it intends to turn around the business under new Chairman, Sir Douglas Flint. He seems determined to increase shareholder value and the appointment of a single CEO is a good start. Financially it is in a strong position the slight increase in the dividend to 21.6p, which at 245p gives an ongoing yield of 8.8%. That looks attractive but of course it will only grow if it succeeds in improving performance of the business. It needs to improve investment performance, stem the outflow of funds and start to increase funds under management. I bought this in the autumn rout as I thought the dividend yield just too attractive. So far, I am flat on my purchase price which isn’t so good against a market that has made progress this year. In the results statement today there is a Q&A section, so in that vein, I might ask, “do I regret buying the shares in November/December?” A. I could have invested the money in a better prospect and that is probably still the case. It will be a difficult task turning the business around but not impossible. It will however take time and even with an 8.8% yield I can see the shares treading water for some time, until there is evidence of things improving. If I didn’t hold, I wouldn’t buy, and I am likely to see this holding as a source of funds for other investments. Weak Holder!

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