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WH Ireland expects £2.2m loss due to virus

WH Ireland expects £2.2m loss due to virus

Wealth management and brokerage firm WH Ireland expects to report a £2.2m loss for the year to March as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

In a trading update for the year to March, published today (April 2), WH Ireland reported it did not expect to achieve monthly profitability by the start of the new financial year and would report an operational loss of £2.2m for the past 12 months.

WH Ireland stated the impact of the coronavirus crisis on its corporate arm had been “notable” while the reduction in market levels had reduced the income from its wealth management business.

Responding to these circumstances, the board had taken a number of actions across the business to reduce costs and more closely align its outgoings with the parts of the business which returned significant revenue, WH reported.

It added that it had “accelerated” a move to a greater element of remuneration being related to profitability, where those within the corporate and institutional broking business would work under a more commission and bonus-based structure.

Phillip Wale, chief executive, said: "The business starts the new financial year with a more resilient business model, a strong balance sheet and the majority of its anticipated revenue being recurring in nature. 

“The company will continue to focus on providing the high levels of service and support our clients' needs in these challenging times".  

Last November the firm stated it expected to return to profitability in the next financial year after it saw a drop in assets under management and income.

WH Ireland reported today it had made good progress in returning the business to profitability with a “strong and effective control framework” before the coronavirus had hit, meaning it was likely to return a profit for the month of January.

Other highlights of the year to March for included a “positive momentum” with the completion of re-pricing actions in its wealth management business, 12 new corporate clients in its broking arm and a number of new hires.

However both February and March experienced a loss as market levels and corporate activity were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The markets have seen some of their biggest rises and falls in 30 years as countries closed borders and introduced lockdowns to curb the pandemic and 25 per cent has been wiped from the UK’s blue chip index since the start of the year

imogen.tew@ft.com

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