Banking giant Investec battled weak economic growth in its two core markets South Africa and the UK to post a 9.4 per cent full-year profit rise.
The South African financial services group said it delivered a “sound” performance against a challenging operating environment, in its results for the year ending 31 March.
The company posted operating profits of £664.5m – a 9.4 per cent increase on £607.5m the previous year.
But growth would have been 12.6 per cent were it not for the weakness of the rand.
Investec said it was on track with the demerger and London-listing of its asset management division, which it announced in the september.
Assets under management increased by 7.3 per cent to £111.4bn over the twelve months, while profits rose just 0.7 per cent to £179.4m as higher UK costs, lower performance fees in South Africa and Mifid-related investments hit earnings.
Investec’s growth was driven by its bank and wealth business, which increased profit by 13 per cent to £485.2m, led by its UK specialist bank which offset a weaker performance in South Africa.
The Anglo-South African group also revealed plans to close its Click and Invest robo-advice business after two years of losses in order to “manage costs and allocate capital effectively.”
The online investment services made losses of £12.8m last year on top of £13.5m losses the previous year, and the company has also taken a £6m write-down on the platform’s software.
Joint chief executives Fani Titi and Hendrik de Toit said: “We are implementing our strategy to simplify, focus and grow with discipline.
“We are committed to the demerger and listing of the asset management business and the positioning of the bank and wealth business for long-term growth.”
They added: “In spite of a challenging operating environment, these results speak to strong support from our clients.”