EL Stewart Securities, one of a clutch of small brokers operating in the City, has posted a first-half loss after the European sovereign debt crisis led to the deals market drying up.
The AIM-listed firm made a pre-tax loss of £605,952 for the six months to 30 September, compared to a profit of £190,572 for the same period last year.
Chief executive Peter Shea said: “The six months to September have been an extremely difficult time for the brokerage industry.
“Despite this we have continued to invest in our international development, with a particular focus on Asia. We are confident that this investment will assist in sustaining our business should the economic outlook in Western Europe remain bleak.”
The broker spent £360,000 on monthly “retention payments”, which are seen as an alternative to bonuses.
Earlier this year Daniel Stewart advised Jimmy Choo on the bid to buy his upmarket shoe back from private equity firm, Towerbrook Capital. It was ultimately sold to luxury goods group Labelux. The broker said it expects to open a Hong Kong office in the first quarter of 2012.