Close posts earnings up 16pc but Winterflood unit weighs

Joseph Millis
Close Brothers has announced that its half-year profit was more than £100m
Close Brothers yesterday said that adjusted operating half-year profit to the end of January rose by 16 per cent to £108.6m despite weakness from its Winterflood arm.

Its asset management business, led by Martin Andrew, accounted for £5.1m of the profit – a rise of 59 per cent in the corresponding period the previous year. This was buoyed by assets under management rising five per cent to £10.2bn.

Its banking division’s profit was 19 per cent higher at £106.4m, reflecting 3.2 per cent loan book growth year-to-date to £5.5bn and an improved debt ratio of 0.7 per cent.

However, securities unit Winter­flood was hit by difficult market conditions, such as low retail investor risk appetite, with profit slumping 23 per cent to £10.3m.