Walker Crips Group cuts divi after tough half year

Walker Crips, an integrated financial services group, has told investors it suffered 'difficult trading conditions' in the half year ended September 30th and said broadly lower transaction volumes in what were weaker equity markets results in a negative impact on performance.

Walker Crips, an integrated financial services group, has told investors it suffered 'difficult trading conditions' in the half year ended September 30th and said broadly lower transaction volumes in what were weaker equity markets results in a negative impact on performance.

As a result, the dividend was slashed to 0.47p per share (2011: 0.94p per share), although this will be combined with the previous announced special dividend after the company disposed of Liontrust Asset Management, which resulted in a one-off gain of £10m.

In a statement the company said: "The depressed market conditions of recent years show no signs of abating, as fragile investor confidence stutters in the face of Euro and market uncertainty. However, [the] board is confident that the group is well positioned to benefit from any longer term improvement in market activity.

"The group has been implementing a strategy to refocus and build its investment management division. This process is now well advanced. We are very encouraged that twelve advisers, along with their clients, have joined the company since the beginning of the financial year bringing with them substantial new revenue streams, most of which will take effect in the second half of the year. Further recruitment is in prospect."

During the period revenue fell from £10.65m to £8.84m, with gross profit at £5.18m (2011: £7.4m) and profit before tax at £7.7m, significantly up on the £0.83m generated in the same period the previous year.

Administrative expenses remained stable at £6.3m, just slightly up on the £6.6m spent in the same period in 2011.

The share price fell 2.99% to 32.50p by 13:55.

NR

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