Cenkos sees fortunes turn

STOCKBROKER Cenkos Securities has recovered from its battering last year to report a spike in first-half profits, though it warned the markets are still in a delicate state.<br /><br />Cenkos yesterday posted a 13 per cent rise in pre-tax profit for the six months to June, to &pound;6.2m, after it fell from &pound;11.6m to &pound;5.5m in the same period last year. Revenue for the period increased 12 per cent to &pound;21.2m.<br /><br />But Cenkos chairman John Hodson warned of the dangers of overstating the recent market upturn, saying: &ldquo;Investors remain nervous and exceptionally averse to risk... Confidence is growing but remains fragile.&rdquo;<br /><br />Cenkos managed to almost double the amount of capital it raised for clients in the first half despite the tough economic environment, raising &pound;430m over the period compared to &pound;230m in 2008.<br /><br />The group also said it had continued to recruit staff to its research team as it won new business from the big investment banks.<br /><br />&ldquo;The demise of the trading capacity of the large international houses has levelled the playing field for other firms,&rdquo; it said.<br /><br />Cenkos said it would pay an interim dividend of 15p, rising from 5p last year.