Broker WH Ireland revealed a return to full year profitability and assured investors it has made a decent start to its new year.
Pre-tax profits for its year to November 2013 came in at £1.7m compared to a 2012 loss before tax of £0.2m. Revenue increased by 18.2% to £29.7m, with recurring revenue up 32% to £8.9m.
Basic earnings per share totalled 4.8p versus a loss of 0.89p last time.
The private wealth business put on a particularly encouraging show, increasing revenue by £1.3m or 18% against the comparable period last year. Funds under management and administration rose by 43% to £2.5bn. The acquisition of the former Seymour Pierce client list in February 2013, meanwhile, added over £300m of assets.
The broker is seeing some interesting opportunities to expand the reach of its private wealth management business through new office openings.
The group separately announced today that its Isle of Man subsidiary, WH Ireland (IOM), has gained regulatory approval from the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission. The approval enables it to launch a new office on the island.
Performance by the corporate broking arm was mixed, with client numbers increased by two from 85. Fund raisings totalled £102m through 21 transactions, down for £116m in 2012. M&A transactions valued at £138m were completed over the year.
Richard Killingbeck, Chief Executive of WH Ireland, said: "For the first time since the financial crisis, the group is now operating in more benign markets, albeit the environment remains highly competitive and subject to much regulatory change and consolidation."
Killingbeck assured that the current year has started well for the company. The number of corporate clients that it advises has risen further, which is driving a good pipeline of corporate transactions. Assets under management and administration, meanwhile, have continued to grow, boosted by stronger markets, he said.
Killingbeck added: "Overall, we are focusing on delivering our strategic plan to develop further both divisions and thereby deliver strong shareholder returns. We look forward to the year ahead with confidence."
The group proposed a final dividend of 1.5p, up from 0.5p in 2012.
By early afternoon WH Ireland shares
had reversed earlier gains, off 3p or 2.4% at 119.5p.