Asset management consultancy Alpha Financial Markets Consulting continued to "perform confidently" in 2018 as the group saw revenues and profits increase in its first year as a listed company as clients face rising costs from an increased regulatory burden.
Group revenue increased 51.5% to £66m thanks to solid demand for services from within the asset and wealth management industry in all its core markets of the UK, Europe & Asia, and the US, together with a strong pipeline of new business. Adjusted operating profits moved ahead 65% to £13.6m and EBITDA improved 62.9% to £13.9m.
Alpha recorded exceptional non-recurring items in the year ended 31 March, including costs associated with its admission to the London Stock Exchange's AIM in October, the acquisition of TrackTwo, a specialist data solutions and consulting firm based in Frankfurt, and those related to its successful secondment programme into its US offices.
The firm recommended a final dividend per share of 3.69p on Wednesday, bringing its total dividend for the year to 5.17p, inclusive of its previously paid 1.48p interim dividend.
Throughout the period, Alpha welcomed Penny Judd as a new non-executive director and John Paton as its chief financial officer.
Chief executive Euan Fraser said it was the most successful year in Alpha's history, with results ahead of market expectations and a strong business pipeline.
"We were pleased with the success of our IPO and admission to AIM in October, and take great confidence from our first eight months of trading as a public company. We have continued to invest in geographic expansion and extending Alpha's service offering, responding to a strong pipeline and unwavering client demand," he added.
The company also highlighted the "deep-rooted change" taking place in the asset and wealth management industry, with increasing pressure on fees and regulatory focus driving the need for support from the likes of Alpha. "With its highly focussed market proposition, strong reputation in the industry and a robust platform for growth, Alpha is uniquely positioned to assist with its clients' needs."
Analysts at Berenberg said they continued to believe there is a "substantial opportunity ahead" for Alpha and retained their 'buy' rating. Berenberg also upped its target price on the group to 250p from 230p.
As of 0900 BST, Alpha shares
had picked up 6.49% to 205p.