Close Brothers sees 'good momentum' in five months to 31 December
Merchant banking group Close Brothers said on Friday that it had performed well in the five months ended 31 December, with good loan book growth at strong margins in its banking unit and continued growth momentum in its asset management division despite a moderation in trading income in its Winterflood arm since the end of the 2021 financial year.
Close Brothers stated that in banking, it experienced "good demand" across its businesses, with the firm's loan book increasing 2.9% to £8.69bn, driven by good new business levels in asset finance and motor finance and improved utilisation in invoice finance, despite continued high repayments in its property business.
The FTSE 250-listed firm said that in its asset management unit it continued to deliver good growth in the period, achieving annualised net inflows of 8% and benefiting from rising markets. Managed assets grew from £15.6bn to £16.6bn and total client assets increased from £17.0bn to £18.0bn.
Close Brothers also noted that Winteflood's trading performance had moderated since the end of the 2021 financial year and as a result, operating profits for the period were broadly in line with the £10.6m seen in the first half of 2020.
Chief executive Adrian Sainsbury said: "We have seen good momentum in our business, as we continue to make the most of opportunities in our core markets. We are navigating the current environment effectively and remain confident that our proven and resilient model, supported by the hard work and expertise of our people, leave us well positioned to protect, grow and sustain our business over the long term."