Close Brothers profits take 32% tumble

3 March 2008

Close Brothers has revealed that profits took a sharp decline for the first half of the fiscal year compared to the same six months a year ago.

However, net interest income had risen at the finance group and it raised its interim dividend.

Posting a net profit of $92.7 million for the six months to the end of January, the company had earned over $141 million for the same period the previous year - a 32 per cent decline for this year.

After adjustment, earnings per share fell by five per cent to 70.2 cents each, down from 73.6 cents the year before.

Asset management and mergers advice were the worst hit by the turmoil in credit markets, but the finance firm said its results were not due to any sub-prime investments or structured products of its own.

However, net interest income rose to $145.6 million, up from $144.8 million in the previous year.

The directors of Close Brothers said they would still make a payout on the group's interim dividend, which is up 13 per cent to 27 per cents per share, based on an ongoing policy.

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