Brewin Dolphin appears to have steadied the boat following a turbulent two years for the business with profit up 7% year-on-year and the group declaring ‘expansion is now firmly on our agenda’.
Since the 2014 announcement that the company would take a £31 million writedown on the abandonment of the Figaro back-office system, it has embarked on an extended period of consolidation, merging regional offices and selling its execution-only platform Stocktrade.
Chief executive David Nicol (pictured) said that this process was now complete, leaving it free to focus on expanding the business, following an increase in full-year profits from £58.4 million to £62.2 million.
The company has lifted its full-year dividend 21% to 12p per share.By mid-morning shares in the business were up 3.8% at 266p.
‘This has been a good year for Brewin Dolphin, as we continued to provide a transparent, convenient service that delivers real value to our clients,’ said Nicol.
‘This underpinned growth in our core business, our profitability and returns to shareholders.
‘Initiatives to enhance key aspects of our business have culminated this year with the renewal of our client advice process and are now substantially complete. Expansion is now firmly on our agenda and we are in a strong position to take advantage of opportunities.
‘Trusted, personalised advice to clients and high quality investment management, delivered through a local presence, remain key to our future success. Our people operate in a business with financial strength and genuine scalability and have a genuine commitment to help clients achieve their goals.’
The company noted that the increased efficiency had increased both client assets and fee income per regulated individual. Total assets under management fell marginally from £32.5 billion to £32 billion, while discretionary assets rose 3% from £24 billion to £24.8 billion.
While overall income was little changed at £283 million fee income rose 7% from £175.9 million to £188.5 million, and as a percentage of the total rose from 63% to 66%.
The company said that it was focused on exploring ways to extend its third-party intermediated business in addition to deepening the integration of internal advice with asset management.