WH Ireland swings into profit as cost cuts and private client branch pay off

Marion Dakers
FINANCIAL services group WH Ireland yesterday swung to a half-year profit on a 30 per cent rise in group turnover on last year.

The AIM-listed firm credited its £0.71m pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of May on cost reductions under a new management team, and flagged up new products that will propel further gains this year.

Its private clients business drove the firm’s improving fortunes, posting profits of £1.7m.

WH Ireland also sold its Australian WHI stock broking business in the period, with the firm noting that profit including this disposal was £1.5m.

The company warned that the stock broking market remained “very difficult”, with reduced trading volumes and flat markets making for a nervous six months.

But chairman Rupert Lowe was upbeat about the rest of the year.

“The Group’s strategic focus is clear, and with new revenue streams including market making in corporate stocks, we look forward to further expanding the team and our presence in our market,” he said in a statement.

The group said the changes to enterprise investment scheme (EIS) tax relief planned for 2012 and the launch of a new structured products range are set to generate fresh revenues.