(Alliance News) - AJ Bell PLC on Thursday reported "record" annual results, helped by rising customer numbers, while its best-ever net inflows outcome sent assets under management higher.

For the financial year ended September 30, the investment platform generated record revenue of GBP218.2 million, up 33% from GBP163.8 million. Pretax profit shot up 50% to GBP87.7 million from GBP58.4 million.

AJ Bell proposed a final dividend of 7.25 pence per share, up 58% from 4.59p. Its total annual dividend amounted to 10.75p, up 46% from 7.37p.

AJ Bell reported assets under administration of GBP70.9 billion, up 11% from GBP64.1 billion a year earlier. The FTSE 250 listing said customer numbers surged by 50,880 to end the year at 476,532.

It achieved record net inflows for the year of GBP1.65 billion, up 57%, helping send assets under management totalled 68% higher to GBP4.7 billion.

"I am pleased to report another year of strong financial performance for the business which has demonstrated our ability to continue to grow in different market conditions," Chief Executive Michael Summersgill said.

"As we approach half a million platform customers, we remain focused on providing a great value proposition, with a philosophy of sharing our scale benefits with customers. Having reduced several fees across the platform in 2022, this year we have increased the interest rates paid to customers several times and will soon be increasing them further, with a particular focus on pension drawdown where there is a customer need to hold cash to fund income payments."

Summersgill said that while a "challenging environment" is likely to continue in the short-term, AJ Bell has promising long-term prospects.

Shares in the company shot up 6.8% to 275.62 pence each in the wake of the announcement. However, shares have fallen some 12% over the past six months. The stock came under pressure amid regulatory worries.

In November, analysts at UBS highlighted how new fair-value assessment rules, announced in May, could leave investment services firms facing fee cuts associated with higher consumer duty and clearer standards of consumer protection. UBS had kicked off coverage of AJ Bell at 'sell' last month.

By Eric Cunha, Alliance News news editor

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