M&G, the wealth manager spun out of insurer Prudential, posted a rise in first-half profit owing to short-term movements in investment returns, though its underlying earnings fell on client outlows. Pre-tax profit for the six months through June rose 3.7% to £1.04bn, but adjusted operating profit more than halved to £309m, down from £714m. M&G experienced savings and asset management net client flows of negative £4.1m. Assets under management and administration edged back to £339bn, from £441bn, reflecting negative market movements in March. M&G declared an interim dividend of 6p per share, in line with its policy of paying one-third of the previous year's final dividend. 'This has been a resilient performance in extremely difficult times, with the value of our diversified business mix coming through strongly,' chief executive John Foley said. 'Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, net new money has flowed into our institutional asset management business, while our UK retail savings franchise, anchored on our unique PruFund offering, has remained in positive net inflow,' he added. 'Outflows in retail asset management declined in the second quarter, as performance rallied.' 'Work is underway here to further improve returns and customer value, while the acquisition of Ascentric will, once completed, bolster our position in the UK market and take us into high-value wealth management.'
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