EquityDec 16 2022

WH Ireland reports losses of £900k

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WH Ireland reports losses of £900k

WH Ireland has reported losses of £0.9mn in its half year results released today (December 16), as its chief executive describes its performance as “relatively resilient”.

The group’s wealth management division saw a reduction in reported losses compared to the first half of 2022 with its total assets under management now sitting at £2.1bn.

This remains down from the £2.4bn for the same period last year, with the firm’s boss saying this was impacted by the present market backdrop and a reduction in new business opportunities.

The group reported total revenue of £14.3mn for the period, down from £17mn in 2021 with its wealth management division reporting revenue of £7.3mn, down from £7.8mn last year. 

The group’s basic loss per share sat at 0.59p with reported cash balances for the firm at £6.3mn.

The firm said it expects to report a “small loss for the year as a whole”, citing the fact that the challenging market environment has continued. 

Commenting on the results, WH Ireland chief executive Philip Wale said despite the challenges he believes the firm is “well placed to take advantage of a market recovery”. 

Wale noted that despite the fall in markets and drop off in transactions, the group “continued to develop through selective recruitment and complementary new services".

“Although our results are well down on last year's, we were close to financial breakeven despite the very testing market conditions, reflecting the benefit of lower costs and a significant VAT refund. 

“Positively, we made good operational progress during the period, including winning thirteen new brokerships, and launching our new debt capital business to complement our existing equity capital markets and private growth capital businesses."

"Wealth management also made good progress enhancing its customer proposition and refining its business model,” Wale said.

The firm has said it has been encouraged by a rise in financial planning income as a result of placing added emphasis on this area of the business. 

Wale also noted that the firm has continued to improve efficiencies and cost savings across the group, with the total number of employees reduced to 156 from 163 a year ago.

In the group’s results for the first half of the year, WH Ireland reported losses of £2mn, compared to a loss of £887,000 the previous year.

Back in August, the firm’s wealth management boss Michael Bishop told FTAdviser that he continues to aim for a target of £3bn under management in his unit, but that he does not expect to make any acquisitions until the business is profitable.