Winterflood is the star of the show as trend for equities ups trading volumes

Steve Dinneen
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Winterflood was the star performer for Close Brothers this year.

The bank’s securities division, of which Winterflood is an integral part, out-performed the market, boosting the bottom line for the merchant bank.

Winterflood received a welcome boost from better-than-expected demand for mid and small-cap shares. It saw a 48 per cent increase in adjusted operating profit to £27.6m, up from £18.7m in 2009.

It has performed less well in the first two months of its second half but despite this Close is confident the division will deliver strong results for the 2010 financial year.

Winterflood says it will now seek opportunities to expand its global presence, while “retaining a strong focus on its core retail market”.

Close vehemently denied rumours it is ready to sell off its prized asset. A spokesman told City A.M.: “Winterflood is absolutely not for sale. Rumours surrounding this are absolutely inaccurate.”

Overall the securities division, which also includes Mako and Close Brothers Seydler, posted adjusted operating profit of £34m for the first half, up two per cent from 2009’s £33.2m