News Column

Walker Crips Declares Special Dividend As Non-Broking Income Rises

June 13, 2014

Rowena Harris-Doughty

LONDON (Alliance News) - Walker Crips Group PLC declared a special dividend Friday after reported a lower profit but a slight uptick in revenues in its last financial year.

The investment and wealth management company said it was cautiously confident in its outlook for the business in the year ahead, but said it is well positioned to benefit from longer term improvements in economic and investment activity and from increasing fee income.

"Whilst market conditions remained favourable throughout 2013/4, and the UK economic outlook is increasingly positive, we remain cautious nevertheless about future levels of market activity and the potential impact on commission during 2014/5," the company said in its statement.

For the year ended March 31, the company generated pretax profit of GBP2.5 million, boosted by a one-off investment disposal gain, compared with a GBP9.2 million profit the prior year, when it benefited from a GBP11.7 million gain on the disposal of its subsidiary WCAM to Liontrust Asset Management.

Revenues increased to GBP20.7 million, up from GBP20.4 million the prior year.

The company proposed a final dividend for the year of 1.06 pence, up almost 18% from the 0.9 pence per share dividend it paid out a year earlier. It also proposed a special dividend of 1.0 pence per share arising from the final investment gains from the sale of Liontrust CULS Holdings, taking its total dividend for the year to 2.06 pence, up from 0.9 pence the prior year.

Walker Crips has been continuing its transformation from a traditional private client stockbroker to a full service, increasingly fee-based, investment and wealth management group, as strategy it said has returned the company to profitability.

"We are entering a new phase, to consolidate the progress we have made over the previous two years and to continue our expansion and business transformation," said Chairman David Gelber in a statement.

In the year just ended, the company said that like-for-like non-broking income as a percentage of total income, increased slightly to 52.7% from 52.3%.

Walker Crips shares were trading at 49.00 pence Friday morning, up 0.5%.

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Source: Alliance News

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