* Pretax profit 319.3 mln stg
* Net outflows of 1.2 bln stg
* 'Risk-off' sentiment strong in retail equity funds (Adds detail from statement, quote, bullet points)
By Simon Jessop
LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - British asset manager Schroders said pretax profits fell 14% in the first half, hit by weak markets at the start of the year and outflows of client cash.
Pretax profit in the six months to end-June was 319.3 million pounds, down from 371.1 million in the same period a year earlier. Net outflows over the period were 1.2 billion pounds, it said in a statement on Thursday.
Weaker investor sentiment has been a feature of results from most of Schroders' peers, with Jupiter Fund Management, Amundi and Man Group among those to report outflows in recent days.
Despite the outflows, however, Schroders said total assets had hit a fresh record of 444.4 billion pounds by the end of the period as markets recovered, increasing the value of its investments. The new business pipeline was also strong, it said.
"In a challenging market, we continue to broaden and enhance our range of investment capabilities to help meet our clients' needs," Chief Executive Peter Harrison said.
"We remain on track with our plans, giving us confidence that our diversified business model and global presence position us well to generate positive outcomes for both our clients and shareholders over the long term." (Reporting by Simon Jessop, editing by Sinead Cruise and Carolyn Cohn)