Blue Sky forecasts solid growth through institutional investors

Blue Sky forecasts solid growth through institutional investors
Blue Sky Alternative Investments (ASX: BLA) lifted its first half underlying profit by 59 per cent to $16.1 million as its fee-earning assets under management (AUM) rose by $1.2 billion to $3.9 billion.

The Brisbane-based funds manager also posted a rise in underlying revenue of 41 percent to $51.4 million, compared to 1H FY17, and says it is on track to deliver full year underlying net profit after tax (NPAT) of between $34 and $36 million.

The company says it is targeting AUM of between $5.5 billion and $6 billion by June 30, 2019, with the growth to be driven by demand from institutional investors.

"This growth in AUM was broad-based and included increased institutional investment across all four asset classes, as well as continued expansion in our sophisticated and retail investor base," CEO Robert Shand (pictured) says.

Shand says Blue Sky has generated investor returns of 15 per cent since inception (net of fees) while investor returns from realised funds stand at 16.7 per cent per annum since inception (net of fees).

"Our approach focuses on making long-term investments in private markets and we continue to target sectors that are underpinned by favourable structural trends such as food, water, education, retirement, healthcare and technology," Shand says.

"Importantly this has been a consistent approach for many years now which has helped us develop deep expertise and networks in the areas we target."

Blue Sky was founded by Mark Sowerby in 2007 and he stepped aside as managing director in 2016 as the company hit a "critical mass" with AUM.

He told Business News Australia the company is gaining momentum exponentially and is going through a phase of rapid and impressive growth.

"When I left the company, I did so because it was in a great position and we're really only seeing the tip of the iceberg, even right now, of what is possible," Sowerby says.

"It's a business that's structurally and incredibly strong and it's growing at 50 per cent per annum."

Shares in BLA closed six per cent higher at $13.96 on Monday.


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