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WH Ireland confirms first profit in 5 years after revenues beat expectations

WH Ireland confirms first profit in 5 years after revenues beat expectations

WH Ireland has exceeded revenue expectations for the year to the end of March.

The firm saw revenues increase by 37 per cent to £29.6m, above the 29 per cent rise the group predicted in May.

Pre-tax profit was £1m, up from a £3.3m loss in 2020, and marked the first time in five years that the firm had posted a profit.

The firm attributed its gains to a strong performance from the group’s capital markets division.

During 2020 the company's capital markets division saw its revenue soar 80 per cent, pocketing £14.5m compared with £7.9m a year previously.

Meanwhile the wealth management division, which offers financial advice and discretionary investment management, saw its discretionary assets increase by 69 per cent to £1bn.

This was achieved in part through the acquisition of Henley-based advice firm Harpsden Wealth Management in December.

Phillip Wale, chief executive of WH Ireland, said: "We have seen a year of significant progress despite the challenges posed due to the Covid pandemic. The business and our employees have performed extremely well and the result is our first profit for five years.

"This progress, and the financial robustness it has provided, has enabled us to invest significantly in people and processes.

"This allows us to confidently grow the business to at least achieve our targets of £3bn of discretionary assets under management, with a 20 per cent margin and to have a capital markets division that can sustainably deliver revenue of £20m."

He said the year had started well with the final stages of the Harpsden integration being "better than we had expected".

"We therefore look forward with confidence to the remainder of the year."

Last month, former Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan announced he will step down from the firm’s board in September in order to "concentrate on other business interests".

sally.hickey@ft.com