Close Brothers in profit rise

City A.M. Reporter
Financial services group Close Brothers said it was well-placed for further growth as it posted higher first-half profits driven by increased lending at its core banking business.

Close Brothers, whose services include merchant banking, securities dealing and asset management, reported an adjusted operating profit of £65.4m for the six months to 31 January – up five per cent from a year ago.

The company also maintained its interim dividend at 13.5 pence per share.

Close Brothers' earnings growth was driven principally by a 33 per cent rise in profits at its core banking division, which benefited from growth in its lending businesses.

"Overall our businesses are well positioned for future growth opportunities," Close Brothers Chief Executive Preben Prebensen said in a statement.

Close Brothers shares closed down 0.2 per cent at 860.5 pence on Monday, giving the group a market capitalisation of around £1.25bn.