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WH Ireland cuts £7.6m costs on road to profitability

WH Ireland cuts £7.6m costs on road to profitability

Wealth manager WH Ireland has revealed administrative savings of £7.6m as the company sets its sights on "delivering profitability consistently".

In its annual results out today (July 9) WH Ireland announced a 23 per cent drop in its administrative expenses, down from £33.4m to £25.8m in March, as the firm retired its two legacy platforms and moved to a more "cost-effective" trading platform. 

It came as the wealth manager said it had slashed its pre-tax loss for the year ended March by 69 per cent - dropping to £3.2m for the financial year, from £10.2m the previous year. 

The company also told FTAdviser savings had been made by office closures and a reduction in staff, with headcount dropping by 7 per cent in June to 148 people - compared with 159 in the same month last year.

The wealth manager said the majority of reductions in headcount had been achieved by "natural means" including not replacing leavers and had "not impacted morale".

Phillip Wale, chief executive sat WH Ireland, said the company had seen "significant improvement" in operational performance which had led to its first quarterly profit in the new financial year.

Mr Wale said "Our continued strong focus on cost management has led to a further reduction in the run rate of administration expenses to a level where we can deliver profitability consistently.

"We also now have a platform that is better able to provide the quality of service that will differentiate us in the future and which has shown it is sufficiently robust to successfully navigate challenges as significant as Covid-19.

"The turnaround plan for WH Ireland is on track and I look forward with cautious optimism to executing the next stages of that plan in the coming year."

The company predicted a group profit of £200,000 for the first quarter of the 2020 financial year, the first profitable quarter for a "number of years".

Last month WH Ireland announced it was selling its Isle of Man business to Ravenscroft Holdings as it looked to "streamline" its operations into a smaller number of locations. 

The deal followed a profit warning earlier this year in which the firm predicted a £2.2m loss for the year to March as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

rachel.mortimer@ft.com

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