Banking, securities and asset management firm Close Bros said it has delivered a solid performance overall as strong growth in the banking division outweighed difficult market conditions at its securities division, particularly in April.
Banking benefited from continued favourable market conditions and good demand for its lending services. The loan book increased 6% in the quarter to £4bn, after it was boosted by new business in motor finance, asset finance and property. Banking in the financial year to date increased 15%.
In contrast its securities division continues to be affected by difficult market conditions, particularly for Winterflood as retail investor risk appetite dwindled towards the end of the period.
Close Brothers said the asset management division is in the final stages of its restructuring and made a small loss as expected.
Total assets under management fell to £8.3bn during the third quarter ended April 30, versus £8.6bn at January 31, following the completion of the previously announced sale of OLIM's property fund management business with £0.4bn AuM.
Private client assets under management was little changed at £7bn from £6.9bn the same time a year earlier.
"The Banking division continues to see good growth opportunities, although difficult trading conditions continue to impact Winterflood's performance. Overall we continue to expect a solid result for the year," the group said.
The group has maintained a strong funding position and remains well capitalised, it added.
QinetiQ, the defence, security and aerospace company saw its share price rise strongly after it raised its interim dividend per share to 1.4p from 1.1p, due to its confidence that its Organic-Plus strategy will deliver value to shareholders over the medium term on the back of in-line first half results. Investec helped the shares along after retaining its 'buy' rating on the company. [21 Nov '13]
Markets closed slightly higher on Tuesday afternoon after a choppy day though upside was limited as investors focused on mixed data and the uncertain future for Federal Reserve monetary policy. [24 Sep '13]
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