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Tavistock blames Financial Ltd purchase for earnings slip

Tavistock blames Financial Ltd purchase for earnings slip

Tavistock Investments reported an earnings before tax loss of £883,000 over the six months to the end of September, £749,000 of which was related to discontinued operations and £134,000 to continuing operations.

The results statement admitted that the period under review has inevitably been adversely impacted by losses generated by Financial Group’s now discontinued business activities, following its acquisition by Tavistock earlier in the year.

“However, as the integration process has now been completed, we can look forward to reporting improved trading results in the second half of the year,” commented executive chairman Oliver Cooke.

The group reported total revenue of £16m - up from £1.3m in the first half of 2014 - and gross profit of £3.3m - up from £463,000 during the first six months of last year.

As at 30 September 2015, the group had net assets of £10.3m of which £4m was represented by cash - up from net assets of £7.6m and £273,000 worth of cash at the end of September last year.

Mr Cooke explained that having conducted a risk assessment of all members of Financial’s advisory network, with the full knowledge and sanction of the FCA, Tavistock transferred the significant majority of those advisers into a newly created network called Tavistock Financial.

He added those advisers who were not transferred have now left the group.

As a consequence, Tavistock has now established a network of 270 self-employed financial advisers, covering most parts of the UK and servicing some 60,000 clients whose assets are estimated to exceed £3bn in value.

All Financial’s support staff and operations have been transferred across to Tavistock Financial and as a result of the reorganisation, running costs of the business have been reduced by some £1m a year.

The last step in the integration process was to secure the cancellation of the regulatory permissions for Financial Limited and Investments Limited from the FCA and to place these two companies, together with holding company Standard Financial Group Limited, into a members’ voluntary solvent liquidation.

Brian Raven, Tavistock’s chief executive, said: “We have achieved a great deal during this period and are continuing to make rapid progress towards our strategic objectives.

“With the integration of Financial Group successfully completed and Tavistock Wealth performing strongly, we are well positioned for the continued development of the business.”

The statement added that with over £4m of available cash resources, the group is well placed to take advantage of the opportunities to further develop the business.

Its share price has almost trebled in the nine months since its last fundraising in February, “so it would therefore be reasonable to assume that the company could access capital markets should it require to raise additional development funding”, read the results, adding that during the period under review “we have investigated a number of potential acquisition opportunities, but none matched our strategic development criteria”.

peter.walker@ft.com

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