Mixed performance continues at Close Brothers

Finance house Close Bros said strong growth in its banking division was maintained while challenging trading conditions continued to hurt its securities division, with Winterflood dragged down by low retail investor activity.

Finance house Close Bros said strong growth in its banking division was maintained while challenging trading conditions continued to hurt its securities division, with Winterflood dragged down by low retail investor activity.

The banking division's loan book recorded 6% growth year to date to £4.4bn, after growth across the portfolio.

Close Brothers said the net interest margin was lower than the last financial year as expected, however this was largely offset by a reduction in the bad debt ratio reflecting strong credit performance in the period across the businesses.

Meanwhile low trading volumes across the market impacted the performance of the securities division, with Winterflood continuing to experience low retail investor activity.

The asset management division continued to make progress with total assets under management (AuM) up 3% to £8.5bn at December 31st 2012, reflecting positive market movements over the period, it said.

The revenue margin also improved reflecting an increased proportion of higher margin private client assets, it added.

"The group is well positioned for the remainder of the 2013 financial year. The banking division continues to see solid prospects for growth and asset management remains on track to move into profitability during the course of this financial year," the group said in a company statement.

"Challenging trading conditions continue to impact Winterflood's performance although it remains well positioned for any market recovery."

CJ

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