Walker Crips sees return to profit after business overhaul

Walkers Crips has unveiled improved finances in its annual results with an operating profit of £0.5m and pre-tax profits of £2.5m, which include the results of one off investment disposal gains.

In addition the results showed an increase in gross profit of 19.5 per cent and an increase in its discretionary and advisory assets under management of almost 30 per cent to £1.33bn, after initiating a strategic overhaul of the business.

In the results statement, chairman David Gelber said: “Two years ago the board established a strategic plan to transform the company from a predominantly traditional private client stockbroker to a full service investment and wealth management group. The strategy is delivering for shareholders with the group returning to profitability, recording an operating profit of £0.5m for the year compared to an operating loss (before exceptional items) of £1m in the prior year.”

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He added: “After two years of transformation, acquisition of revenue generators and disposals of non-core businesses, the group is on course to benefit from the resultant increase in revenue. The changes that flow from the implementation of our strategy are expected to continue and gather pace.”

Mr Gelber also highlighted plans for the company to continue to expand its investment management and wealth management divisions.

The results also noted a 17.8 per cent increase in the final proposed dividend to 1.06p per share, while a special proposed dividend of 1p per share was announced as a result of final investment gains from the sale of Liontrust CULS Holdings.