IFAST Corp. reported Monday its fourth quarter net profit rose 5.5 percent on-year to S$7.2 million on stronger growth in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, even as expenses rose.
Revenue for the three months ended 31 December increased 13.9 percent on-year to S$54.55 million, the wealth management platform said in a filing to SGX.
Despite negative market sentiment in the fourth quarter, the group’s assets under administration (AUA) increased to S$19 billion at end-December, up 31.5 percent on-year, iFAST said.
In the fourth quarter, net inflows of client assets were S$760 million, boosting 2021’s net inflows to S$3.75 billion, iFAST said.
Total operating expenses increased 11.6 percent on-year in the fourth quarter to S$19.65 million on efforts to improve platform capabilities, including improving investment product offerings and services, and to scale up the business, iFAST said.
IFAST proposed a final dividend of 1.40 Singapore cents, up 40 percent on-year from 1.0 Singapore cent. That brought the total dividend to 4.80 Singapore cents for 2021, up 45.5 percent from 3.30 Singapore cents in 2020, the filing said.
For the full year, iFAST reported net profit climbed 44.8 percent on-year to S$30.63 million, on revenue of S$216.20 million, up 27.2 percent on-year.
In its outlook, iFAST said it would focus on executing its four-year plan, including accelerating Hong Kong business growth and adding digital banking and other capabilities to its platform.
In January, iFAST said it entered a deal to acquire 85 percent of U.K.-based BFC Bank in a move to add a digital bank to the platform. But it noted the acquisition is expected to post initial start-up losses.
“iFAST Corp. expects its overall business to achieve robust growth in both revenue and profitability between 2021 and 2025, with Hong Kong’s ePension division expected to be the biggest driver from 2023,” the filing said.