Brewin Dolphin in "hiring mode" amid profit drop

Added 19th May 2016

Undeterred by a sharp drop in pre-tax profits, Brewin Dolphin unveiled plans to expand its discretionary business and said it remains in 'hiring mode'.

Brewin Dolphin in "hiring mode" amid profit drop

The investment manager reported profit before tax of £21.5m for the six months to end March, a 42.2% drop from the same period last year (£37.2m). The drop was mainly due to outflows from the firm's advisory business (other income declined by 39.7%), according to the report.  

But the firm said it aims to increase discretionary funds by more than a third over the next five years, which stand at at £25.9bn, up 4.4% from last year (£24.8bn).

Total net discretionary funds inflows, excluding transfers, were £400,000 - representing an annualised growth rate of 3.2%.

Brewin Dolphin’s total funds grew to £32.8bn in the six months, up 2.5% from 2015’s £32bn.

"Despite challenging market conditions, we maintained recent growth rates in our discretionary business, while also moving firmly to execution stage on many of the growth initiatives we outlined in 2015,” said chief executive David Nicol.

Nicol also added that the business is in hiring mode. Brewin Dolphin opened a new office in Cambridge in February, which it said was the first stage of growth plans for the South East region.

Brewin Dolphin reported core income of £126.1m, an increase of 0.9%, mostly due to net organic discretionary funds growth and higher financial planning income offset by lower average market levels compared to H1 2015, said the company.

Nicol commented that in the current market context, and given the short-term outflows resulting from business restructuring, the first half reflects a credible performance. “The underlying ability of the business to sustain organic growth, despite the poor market environment, is a reminder of the sound footings on which we are building our growth ambitions,” he said.

The board declared an interim dividend of 3.85p per share. 

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