Coronation CEO Anton Pillay. Picture: HETTY ZANTMAN
Coronation CEO Anton Pillay. Picture: HETTY ZANTMAN

Coronation Fund Managers has cut its interim dividend by more than a quarter after volatile financial markets and net outflows from institutional portfolios weighed on half-year profits.

“Coronation’s results reflect the extremely challenging financial market conditions experienced worldwide up until December 2018, somewhat ameliorated by the strong recovery in the first quarter of calendar year 2019,” it said.

Net profit in the six months to end-March fell 26% to R578m and the group lowered its dividend by the same percentage, to R1.65 a share.

While Coronation’s total assets under management remained flat compared to the start of the period, at R587bn, average assets under management declined by 8% compared to a year before. That contributed to a 22% decrease in revenue to R1.6bn, while operating expenses declined by only 10%.

Coronation, one of the largest independent managers of pension assets in SA, said net outflows from local institutions continued in the period.

“While we continue to operate in a net-outflow local institutional market, driven by years of low economic growth and poor savings discipline among South Africans, we believe the introduction of in-fund preservation could be positive for renewed growth in the pension fund market in the next five to 10 years,” it said.

Net outflows from global clients represented 2.4% of assets under management from that book at the start of the period.

This was “a reasonable outcome, given the ongoing material shift from active to passive strategies”.

In the retail business, Coronation saw net outflows representing 2.9% of its opening balance.

The group, led by Anton Pillay, said it would probably have a better second half “should current market levels hold”.