2020 4th Quarter and Annual results
A year 2020 marked by numerous strategic initiatives and an excellent last quarter
Paris, Thursday 30 April 2020
On Thursday 30 April, Amundi published its first-quarter 2020 results, which remained strong with assets under management of €1,527bn (up 3.5% year-on-year). Once again, the Group demonstrated the resilience of its business model, with its solid financial structure against a backdrop of crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
It was an unprecented start to 2020, with the crisis generated by the coronavirus epidemic. It is unparalleled in scale, affecting all economic and financial activity around the world. It is difficult to predict the scope and duration of this crisis. Amundi has quickly adapted its operating structure, with two goals: protecting the health of its employees and maintaining a high degree of operational efficiency and customer service quality.
Measures to enable staff to work remotely have been rolled out as lockdown decisions were made: the week of 3 February (in Asia), the week of 24 February (in Italy), the week of 16 March (in France, Spain, Austria, and remote work in Boston). Today, c. 95% of Amundi’s employees around the world are working remotely.
The company is operating normally nowthanks to:
In addition, managing this crisis has been possible thanks to staff commitment, helped by the company’s strong social cohesion:
In accordance with government guidelines in each of the countries where Amundi operates, the Group has set up a plan allowing for a gradual return to a normal state of operations, while keeping strict sanitary rules aimed at protecting the health of our staff.
Finally, Amundi’s investment policy has also been adapted to the context of the financial crisis(lower equity markets, widening of spreads, and tensions over liquidity in the credit market). Amundi has maintained a solid investment performance with over 70% of AuM in the top two quartiles over five years2.
Amundi’s assets under management reached €1,527bn at 31 March 2020, up 3.5% year-on-year (with a limited decline of -7.6% over the quarter due to a significant negative market effect of -€123bn). Net outflows were limited to -€3.2bn (-0.2% of end-2019 AuM), with activity driven by Retail and Asian JVs.
The Retail segment (excluding JVs) posted a solid level of activity (+€2.5bn in Q1 2020), driven by both third-party distributors (+€2.6bn, particularly in Europe) and by the French Networks (+€2.4bn thanks to unit-linked products in life insurance policies and discretionary management). However, international networks saw moderate outflows (-€2.5bn).
This quarter was marked by net outflows (-€15.4bn) related to treasury product outflows in the Corporate segment (liquidity requirements from corporates in March) and “de-risking” of institutional and sovereign customers on MLT assets3. Net inflows for CA & SG insurance mandates were virtually zero, since life insurance inflows were redirected to unit-linked products.
In the first quarter 2020, Amundi was awarded “Asset Manager of the Year 2019” for central banks by Central Banking, recognising its excellence for its 20 Central Bank customers and its ESG expertise for these institutions.
In the Asian JVs, business remained brisk (+€9.7bn), driven by all entities specifically in India, where net inflows were steady at +€6.1bn, and China (+€1.3bn), in spite of Covid-19.
Geographically, Asia is a growth driver once again, generating +€4.8bn in net inflows in Q1 2020, and accounting for an increased share of Amundi’s assets under management: €286bn at the end of March 2020, or 19% of total assets, compared to 14% at the end of March 2019.
In an unfavourable market environment, Amundi has maintained a high level of operating profitability, with positive jaws effect with net asset management revenue increasing significantly, and expenses decreasing. The result is a cost/income ratio (excluding financial income, which has been impacted by a mark-to-market effect) of less than 50%, one of the best in the industry. These strong results illustrate the resilience of Amundi’s diversified business model.
In Q1 2020, Amundi posted strong operating performance, with Gross Operating Income4 (excluding financial income) up to €343m (or +12.2% vs. Q1 2019).
Net asset management revenue increased substantially (€673m, up 5.1% vs. Q1 2019), thanks to:
Operating expenses were particularly well controlled (€331m, a decline of -1.4% vs. Q1 2019), thanks to the full impact of synergies related to the integration of Pioneer, which has more than offset the impact of new hiring in 2019 to support development.
Financial income (-€61m) was affected by the market downturn in March (mark-to-market valuation of the investment portfolio and seed money).
As a result, the cost/income ratio stood at 49.1% (52.4% in Q1 2019) excluding financial income. Including the financial income, the cost/income ratio remained at a very good level, at 54.1% (50.9% in Q1 2019).
In light of the (increasing) contribution from equity-accounted entities (primarily the Asian joint ventures), and a virtually identical tax charge of -€76m, adjusted net income totalled €206m, and €247m excluding financial income (after tax), up +5% compared to Q1 2019.
Accounting income for Q1 2020 was €193m, down -17.8% from Q1 2019, largely due to negative financial income (‑€61m) caused by the market downturn.
Amundi’s financial structure is very strong:
Following the recommendations of the European Central Bank, Amundi has decided not to submit the distribution of a dividend of €3.10 per share for FY 2019 at the upcoming General Meeting8 on 12 May and instead to allocate the full amount of 2019 net income to previous retained earnings.
During the second half of 2020, the Board of Directors will propose guidelines on distribution to shareholders.
Faced with a crisis of unprecedented scope, Amundi has adapted quickly, thanks to its proprietary robust IT platform and the professionalism of all its employees. I salute their engagement and their spirit of solidarity. All of the company’s functions, including portfolio management, risks, middle-office and sales, are 100% operational.
Once again, our first-quarter 2020 results confirm the solidity of Amundi’s business model, founded on the one hand on strong operational diversification, and on the other on a high level of operational efficiency. Assets under management are up +3.5% year-on-year. In Q1 2020, Retail and JV inflows total more than €12bn, virtually offsetting the crisis-related outflows from Institutionals and Corporates. Gross Operating Income increased by more than 12% thanks to the positive jaws effect stemming from an increase of net asset management revenue (+5%) and a decrease of costs (-1%). Net income is maintained at a high level (€206m).
The Group has initiated recently new growth levers in retail, with strategic partnerships signed with Banco Sabadell and Bank of China . The implementation of these partnerships is progressing well, on target and on schedule, as announced.
The duration of the crisis and its impact on the business remain difficult to assess. However, thanks to its solid business model and its new growth drivers, Amundi is well-equipped to face the challenges brought by this exceptional situation.
comments Yves Perrier, Amundi's CEO
1. ALTO: Amundi Leading Technologies & Operations is a Portfolio Management System (PMS) platform, a software with a set of technology and operational services, covering portfolio analysis, pre & post trade compliance, risks, performance, trade processing & position keeping, reporting and data management.
2. Source: Morningstar Direct, open-ended funds and ETFs, global scope, excluding feeder funds, end of March 2020.
3. Medium-Long-Term Assets: excluding treasury products
4. Adjusted data: excluding amortisation of distribution contracts
5. Including amortisation of distribution contracts
6. See Universal Registration Document for FY 2019 filed with to AMF on 14 April 2020
7. Decision of the Amundi Board of Directors on 1 April 2020, in accordance with the recommendations of the European Central Bank. The expected dividend for 2019 (€3.10 per share) will be put in previous retained earnings.
8. Amid the current health situation of the epidemic, the General Meeting of 12 May 2020 will be held without the presence of shareholders, in compliance with Order no. 2020-321 of 25 March 2020. Instead, shareholders are invited to vote by mail, using the voting form, or to grant the Chairman of the General Meeting a power of attorney. Shareholders are also advised to consult the section on the 2020 General Meeting on the website, https://about.amundi.com/Actionnaires/General-Meetings, for information on the procedures for participating in the General Meeting.
A year 2020 marked by numerous strategic initiatives and an excellent last quarter
Solid operating performance both in terms of business activity and results
Good level of business activity and net income, in a context crisis