May 23, 2019 / 6:41 AM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Investment platform AJ Bell's profit jumps on customer growth

(Adds details, outlook on volatility)

May 23 (Reuters) - British investment platform AJ Bell Plc reported higher first-half pretax profit on Thursday as it signed up more customers and managed assets rose.

AJ Bell, which was founded in 1995 using 10,000 pounds in personal loans in a small office in Manchester, said pretax profit rose 27% to 17.7 million pounds ($22.38 million) in the six months ended March 31.

The company, which made its London market debut in December, said assets under management rose 3% to 47.7 million pounds, while the number of retail customers jumped 9% to 214,853.

AJ Bell, which offers self-invested personal pension, individual savings, general investment and dealing accounts, said revenue rose 17% to 50.1 million pounds.

The company said 2019 had seen some recovery in markets, but further volatility is expected as the current economic and political uncertainty continues to impact its customers’ decision-making.

Concerns around economic growth wiped billions of pounds off global stock markets in the last few months of 2018 and prompted many investors to withdraw from the market.

Adding to the weak investor sentiment was Britain’s impending exit from the European Union, originally due to coincide with the end of the tax year at end-March, typically the company’s busiest time of the year.

$1 = 0.7908 pounds Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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