Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka. Picture: HETTY ZANTMAN/FINANCIAL MAIL
Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka. Picture: HETTY ZANTMAN/FINANCIAL MAIL

Asset manager Sygnia says the past year has been “extremely challenging” as difficulties in emerging market economies, as well as political uncertainties in SA, including rhetoric around land expropriation without compensation, took their toll on the local economy.

It said the general uncertainty was compounded by the unpredictable behaviour of some politicians. “US President Donald Trump took a baseball bat to global trade relationships with the imposition of trade tariffs on aluminium and steel, promising more to come.”

Even with this uncertainty, the group still managed to produce positive results, with assets under management increasing by 20.7% to R222.6bn for the year to end-September, despite the JSE's all share index only returning 3.32% over the year. The growth in assets under management helped boost revenue 26.6% to R421.9m.

Sygnia Itrix, previously db X-trackers (RF), was acquired from Deutsche Bank in 2017 and was one of the reasons total expenses rose 21% to R230.4m. These costs included the administration and management of Sygnia Itrix exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by third-party providers.

Operating profit rose 39.2% to R143m, while earnings per share were relatively flat at 69.15c (2017: 69.72c).