achieved before-tax profits of $171.7 million for the first three months of 2006, an increase of 55 percent over first quarter profits in 2005. The London-based, Anglo-American parent to AIM and Invesco released its first quarter results Wednesday.
"Positive net fund flows for the company and enhanced profitability have produced a solid start for Amvescap in 2006," said CEO Martin Flanagan in a statement. He credited more efficient operational methods and "disciplined" expense management with driving profits forward.
Last month, Amvescap raised eyebrows when it was learned the firm had paid out large sums to Flanagan and former CEO Charles Brady at the time of their 2005 changeover. This came in the wake of Amvescap's $450 million settlement with U.S. regulators in 2004 and worrisome outflows in 2005. A UK shareholder activist group last week urged Amvescap investors to oppose the pay deals at the firm's annual meeting, scheduled for today.
Belts do seem to have tightened in some respects, at least: in the first quarter of 2006, operating expenses were reported as $397.5 million, compared with $408.6 million for the first quarter last year. Operating profit was listed as $186.6 million, compared with $129.2 million last year.
Assets under management, meanwhile, averaged $401.3 billion for the first quarter of 2006, up from $377.4 billion in the first quarter of 2005 and $380.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. Net inflows hit $1.5 billion for the most recent quarter, a marked improvement over the net outflows of $3.7 billion and $2.5 billion that afflicted the company in the last and first quarters of 2005, respectively.
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