Close Brothers' profits up 28 per cent

5 March 2007

Independent investment bank Close Brothers has reported first-half profits of $188 million – a year-on-year rise of 28 per cent.

The improvement from last year's figure of $147 million is attributed to a strong showing from its asset management wing which posted profits of $82.1 million – over double last year's operating profit.

Close Brothers' sale of its stake in a property investment and in Minrova International, which pulled in a net income of $28.8 million, also helped the bank's asset management wing to its healthy performance.

Meanwhile, the banking division's profits were up to $71.92 million from $70.93 million.

Commenting on the figures in a statement, Close Brothers CEO Colin Keogh, said: "Looking forward we expect a satisfactory underlying trading result in our second half with, again, some profitable investment realisations,"

The bank, whose year-on-year net income actually dropped to $139 million from $141 million, has recommended an interim dividend of 23 cents, an improvement of 14 per cent.

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