Arden eyes growth as profits rise

AIM BROKER Arden Partners returned to profit in the first half of 2011 as it cut expenses and saw trading profits surge, it said yesterday.

Arden, which has 34 clients, made a £1.2m pre-tax profit in the six months to the end of April, up from an £0.2m loss in the same period in 2010.

Chief executive Jonathan Keeling (pictured), who co-founded Arden nine years ago, told City A.M. revenue growth and cuts to overheads were “a double whammy” of positive momentum in a “very quiet” first half for corporate finance revenues.

But he remained wary of voicing any over-optimism about market prospects and said Arden’s outlook statement was “really cautious” to ensure it avoids having to issue a profit warning as it did last September.

Revenues rose 14 per cent to £7.4m while costs fell 1.8 per cent to £6m year-on-year, in part as it cut staff levels by more than ten per cent.

“We have managed to hold onto commission and trading revenues in the UK, do a very large placing for a director of one of our brokerage companies, and our market making desk has also performed very well,” he said. Business since the half year-end also picked up as Arden raised £50m for India-focused clean energy firm Greenko.

Keeling also warned that a Greek default could still derail the stock market recovery.