Thursday 15 November 2018 4:19 pm

Investec profits rise as banking giant prepares to list asset management arm in London

Banking giant Investec reported a 14 per cent profit rise in the first half of the year as it prepared for the demerger of its asset management division.

The Anglo-South African banking giant reported operating profit increased 14.2 per cent to £359m led by strong profits in its banking division.

Investec said specialist banking profits rose 19 per cent to £245m due to a combination of a weak rand and a decrease in impairment charges due to no longer incurring substantial losses on its legacy portfolio.

Its asset management unit, which the FTSE 250 firm is looking to spin off, also grew profits by 10 per cent in the six months to the end of September.

The company said the demerger and London Stock Exchange-listing of its asset management division was “progressing well” and could be completed in the second half of 2019.

Profits at its wealth and investment arm fell 6.3 per cent to £46.4m due to IT and recruitments costs.

It is the first results since long-serving chief executive Stephen Koseff and managing director Bernard Kantor stepped down in October after 40 years at the helm.

Incoming joint chief executives Fani Titi and Hendrik du Toit said: “The outgoing executives have handed over a resilient business with positive momentum and good growth potential.

“It is now up to us to implement our strategy of simplification and greater focus, involving the demerger and separate listing of the asset management business and the positioning of the specialist bank and wealth and investment businesses for sustainable long-term growth.”

They added: “Revenue growth, capital allocation and cost discipline remain high on our agenda.”