UK – Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management Plc has cut 88 jobs in a bid to cut costs following a 15% fall in 2002 pre-tax profits which have been hit by a 2.3 billion pound (3.59 billion euro) fall in the value of its funds under management.

Profits before tax fell to 40.7 million pounds (63.70 million euros) in the year to the end of September 2002, from 48.2 million (75.44 million euros) a year before. Turnover rose to 193.3 million pounds (302.56 million euros) from 182.1 million pounds (285.93 million euros).

It said it has cut a total of 88 jobs from a total payroll of 1,280 to cut costs.

“The impact of falling revenues and funds under management has brought pressure on our balance sheet,” said Aberdeen’s chairman Charles Irby in a statement.

The company, which controls 4.1 billion euros in European pension fund assets, said that its assets under management as at the end of September fell to 23.7 billion pounds from 25.8 billion at the same period in 2001.

The fall, taking into account net new business of 0.9 billion pounds and split capital trust debt repayments of 0.8 billion pounds, meant that market moves reduced the value of its assets under management by 2.3 billion pounds in the period.

“The past year has been difficult for the group and for the whole investment management industry,” added Irby.

It also said it would dispose of its majority interest in Aberdeen Property Investors, its property asset management business, via a flotation on the London Stock Exchange. It said its margins remain steady and that its immediate task is to shed “non-core activities”.

As recently as October Aberdeen was still buying property interests. It bought Finnish property management company Antilooppi Oy from Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance.