WEALTH manager St James’s Place posted full-year operating profits at the top end of market forecasts.
The firm – which is 60 per cent owned by Lloyds Banking Group – combines life assurance with investment services.
It said operating profit on an embedded value basis was at £228.9m in 2009, up from £204.3m a year earlier.
Analysts had penciled in a figure of £219m.
Chief Executive David Bellamy said in a statement: "The current economic climate remains uncertain, and the recovery is fragile, but we begin 2010 with a little more optimism and confidence than last year."