After a "disappointing" year in which its share price more than halved, Panmure Gordon is looking for the positives.
Reporting its 2015 results today, the stockbroker said 2016 has started positively and profitably. But it is "under no illusion as to the potency of the dangers that lie ahead".
Panmure posted a £16.7m loss in 2015, from a £1.5m profit in the year before, as macro economic headwinds, including fears over a potential Brexit, and a substantial goodwill impairment took its toll on the mid and small cap broker.
Chief executive Patric Johnson said:
We took the decision to write off the outstanding historic accounting goodwill of £13.2m on the balance sheet, which dates back to 2005, and start 2016 with a clean slate.
The company reported loss after tax from normal operations of £4.1m last year. This was down from a £2m operational profit in 2014.
Read more: Panmure Gordon shares plummet
Its preliminary results also reported revenue down 38 per cent, from £20.7m in 2014 to £12.8m.
But the company said it had seen an 11.3 per cent increase in net commission and trading income to £10.5m.
During the year, Panmure Gordon said its client numbers reached an all-time high of 152 – up from 123 at the end of 2014. It helped clients raise more than £500m over the year.
Why it's interesting
The figures have been released shortly after Patric Johnson took over as chief executive of the company.
Johnson replaced Phillip Wale, who left the company after a tumultuous year in which its share price plunged.
The firm was forced to take on a £5m financing facility in February from QInvest, the Qatari investors that in 2009 bought a majority stake in the company.
Panmure Gordon's share price closed at 60.25p yesterday. This was down from more than 150p last summer.
But Johnson said 2016 had started "positively", adding: "In the first three months of the year we have made operational efficiencies and executed 14 deals, and will record a profit.
"Despite this, we are under no illusion as to the potency of the dangers that lie ahead of us this year and the external factors that will weigh heavily on the fund raising opportunities in our market."
What the company said
2015 was a disappointing year with regards to our primary markets activities. However, our institutional securities business performed well, we successfully completed the acquisition of Charles Stanley Securities in July 2015, increased our corporate client base to 152 from 123 and we remodelled the business with our corporate-led, sector-driven approach and this strategy is already yielding results. This results in a statutory loss of £16.7m and a clean and transparent balance sheet going forward. I should make it clear that the relevant impairment charge of £13.2m is non-cash accounting item and has no impact on regulatory capital or on the ongoing operations of the business.