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Italy's Azimut hikes 2020 profit forecast

Azimut Holding SpA raised its net profit forecast for 2020, as it expects to close 2019 with the "best consolidated net profit in the history of the group."

The Italian asset manager said it aims to book a net profit of at least €300 million in 2020 by achieving growth in its international activities and all its other business lines. Azimut previously set its 2020 net profit guidance to between €250 million and €300 million.

For the full year 2019, Azimut expects to book a consolidated net profit of between €360 million and €370 million, triple of what it reported in 2018.

Cumulative dividends over the five years of its business plan, including the dividend that will be proposed to the board in March, will be at least €7.8 per share. As a result, the average payout throughout the plan will be higher than 90%, well above Azimut's target, it noted.

The group's net inflows for 2019 came in at €4.6 billion. This takes total assets to more than €59 billion, higher than Azimut's €50 billion target and represents a 16% increase from 2018-end. AUM at its international business accounted for nearly 30% of total assets in 2019, and the division is expected to book EBITDA of between €50 million and €55 million.