SYDNEY, AAP – Magellan Financial Group has overcome recent turmoil to post a higher first-half profit and is offering sweeteners such as options to shareholders who stayed loyal.

Magellan on Friday reported net profit rose 24 per cent to $251 million despite losing boss Brett Cairns, a major contract and substantial share price value in the six months to December 31.

Funds under management improved 12 per cent and were the catalyst for the higher earnings.

Shareholders will have a one-for-eight options offer, priced at $35 per option.

The company also flagged it may offer an on-market share buy-back, depending on market conditions.

Staff will also be rewarded. They will receive 10 million unlisted options.

Chairman Hamish McLennan said while the bonus issue of options was a potential source of value for shareholders, there was more work to do.

“I am very confident Magellan has the team and processes to overcome recent setbacks, and we remain extremely focused on improving outcomes for shareholders.”

The setbacks included previous chairman Hamish Douglass having to take medical leave after media claims he would sell his stake in the fund manager.

Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 110.1 cents per share, more than the 97.1 cents paid this time last year.

Magellan shares on the ASX were higher by 12 per cent to $20.67 at 1127 AEDT.