EQ's decision meets expectations – the company no longer wants to guide the development of asset management

Treasurer eQ:n The figures in the financial statements for the last quarter of the year were largely unsurprising as the company had given a more precise guidance in relation to the previous results announcement in October last year.

EQ's net sales increased to 18.5 million euros from 13.7 million euros in October-December. The average estimate of two analysts of Factset data was 18.9 million euros.

Operating profit increased from 6.3 million euros to 9.8 million euros in the weaker comparative period, compared with a forecast of 10.8 million euros.

Earnings per share increased to 0.19 euros from 0.12 euros, while the forecast was 0.21 euros.

For the full year EQ Asset Management had a turnover of 66.9 million euros and an operating profit of 41.4 million euros, while in October the company advised Asset Management to have a turnover of around 67 million euros and an operating profit of 41-42 million euros.

At the start of the year, EQ managed assets of 12.9 billion euros. A year ago, the pot was 12.6 billion euros.

Dividends will decrease

EQ's Board of Directors proposes a dividend of EUR 0.80 per share to the General Meeting. The company intends to pay the dividend in two installments, whereas the dividend was distributed all at once.

Analysts expected a dividend proposal of EUR 0.80 per share, while last year's dividend was EUR 1.00 per share. To be precise, the previous year's dividend was EUR 0.91 and the capital return was EUR 0.09, but from the owner's point of view, the capital return corresponds to the dividend.

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Last year EQ's earnings per share were EUR 0.78, a clear drop from EUR 0.91 the previous year.

The Company waives the provision of instructions

EQ previously provided guidance on the development of Varainhitoin's net turnover and operating profit, but the company abandoned the guidance and commented generally on its outlook for the future. The results of the Corporate Finance and Investments segments depend on factors external to the company, which is why no profit forecast has been provided for these segments earlier.

While the company's long-term growth prospects are good for real estate funds, eQ expects 2024 to be even more challenging.

“Sales of EQ's private equity products continue to be strong, and the desire of Finnish asset management clients to increase private equity allocations in their portfolios will continue to support the growth of EQ's private equity products. In addition, we expect performance-related fees to increase from 2025, with many private equity products The company commented on the outlook as it moves to a performance-based payment phase.

Equities, interest rates and private equity yields, crown real estate funds

According to the company, in 2023, returns on client portfolios for traditional interest and equity investments were better. Of EQ's self-managed funds, 69 percent outperformed the benchmark indices, and the corresponding figure over the three-year period was 69 percent. Private equity funds' returns were also marginally positive. On the other hand, returns on real estate funds were negative for the first time on a year-on-year basis as a result of increased demand for real estate yields due to a strong rise in interest rates.

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According to the firm, 2023 was good in terms of sales, especially in terms of private equity asset management. In 2023, eQ PE XV US Fund invested in North America in private equity fundraising. By the end of the year it had increased to $283 million. In addition, the company closed its first round of US$20 million in another venture capital investment fund, eQ VC II, in October.

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