Sell-offs see Brewin Dolphin profits up over past six months



David Nicol
David Nicol

Wealth manager Brewin Dolphin has reported a strong first-half performance on the back of an “overall upward trend in investment markets” and sell-offs.

The group, which earlier this month sold its Edinburgh-based execution-only broking business Stocktrade to Dundee-based Alliance Trust for £14m, also made £9.7 million from the sale of its stake in Belgian financial settlements company, Euroclear, which further helped boost pre-tax profits to £37.9m in the six months to end March from £22m last time.

Stripping out exceptional gains, Brewin Dolphin’s underlying profits climbed to £33m from £30.4m, leading to a rise in the interim dividend to 3.75p from 3.65p.

The company also saw total discretionary funds under management lift to £26.2 billion from £22.7bn.

However, income growth was more modest, rising to £148.4m from £146.3m in the six months to end March 2014 , but the company said its adjusted profit margin rose to 22.3 per cent in the period from 20.8 per cent.

David Nicol, Brewin Dolphin’s chief executive, said the company was now moving out of its initial restructuring to simplify the organisation and that efficiencies achieved would “enable reinvestment in the business, which is critical to sustaining organic growth”

He added: “Against the backdrop of the ongoing transformation of the group, financial performance in the first half was good.

“The growth in funds under management has been strong, helped by the overall upward trend in investment markets over the half-year, although periods of volatility did impact transaction volumes and, therefore, impeded income growth.”