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£10m loss for Matrix Group

MATRIX Group, the financial services giant, has revealed the effects of a torrid financial year that saw it swing from the black to a £10m loss.

Pre-tax profits at the group, which has operations spanning corporate capital, private equity and property, fell from £27.6m in 2007/8 to a deficit of £9.6m last year. Turnover almost halved as market turmoil fed through to Matrix’s businesses.

Founded by entrepreneurs David Royds and Rupert Lywood in 1987, Matrix’s interests are diverse. As well as a growing broking arm it has an established film financing division which has backed projects such as Mike Leigh’s Career Girls and Roman Polanski’s The Pianist.

Chief executive Chris Merry told City A.M. the group had used the downturn as a chance to expand. Over the year it recruited 50 people to its corporate capital arm and hired a team from Ansbacher to set up a wealth management division. It also raised £1bn by November for a cash and liquidity funds business, Prime Rate Capital Management.

Merry said: “On the one hand it’s disappointing not to do better financially, but on the other to be in business and feeling confident after a year like the one we’ve had is an achievement in itself.”

He added: “We carried on adding to our teams at a time when that might seem counterintuitive, but we saw a fantastic opportunity. We believe we are very well positioned [for 2010].”

The group paid £1.7m in dividends, down from £3.2m in 2007/8.

FAST FACTS | MATRIX GROUP

• The umbrella company is one of the largest private financial firms in the UK. It employs 200 people at its West End office.
• Matrix runs around £2.5bn in assets and has raised a total of £8bn since inception.