Close Bros operating profit rose 21% to £97.2 million over the second half of 2013, primarily driven by banking and brokerage and ‘continued progress’ in its asset management division.

Net inflows into the asset management service, where Nancy Curtin (pictured) is chief investment officer, stood at £190 million for the period with overall assets under management rising to £9.29 billion.

A 1% fall in advised assets was balanced by a 5% gain in managed assets, which include both the company’s private client service and packaged funds.

‘Importantly, none of our distribution channels has reached maturity and we expect continued growth across our proposition as we build scale,’ the company said in a statement.

‘We are benefiting from our investment in distribution and are seeing good growth originating from our own advisers and lead generators.’ 

At the group level, operating profit rose 21% to £97.2 million with earnings per share up 19% and  the return on equity rose from 16% to 18%.  

Higher trading activity lifted operating profit at broker division Winterfloods 81% to £13.4 million.