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Brewin Dolphin seals Irish deal; IAG-BA; Hamley’s sold

Brewin Dolphin has sealed a €44 million (£37 million) deal to buy Investec’s Republic of Ireland wealth business.

Headquartered in Dublin, Investec Capital & Investments (ICI) controls €2.9 billion in assets and will be combined with Brewin’s existing Irish business.

The merger will lift Brewin into the top three wealth firm’s in Ireland with €4.6 billion in assets under management, overseen by a 33-strong investment team serving about 5,000 client relationships.

Brewin chief executive David Nicol said the acquisition provides an opportunity to strengthen substantially its existing presence in the Republic of Ireland, one of Europe’s fastest growing economies.

“We will also be in a stronger position to benefit from the country’s growing demand for discretionary and advice-led services, supported by favourable demographics, with the country having the youngest population in Europe,” he said.

Brewin announced a placing at 305p per share to raise £60 million to ensure it maintains a strong regulatory capital level and has cash for further acquisitions opportunities.

Profit before tax and adjusted items for the half year came in 8.2% lower at £35.6m (H1 2018: £38.8m). Statutory profit before tax was down 12.9% at £29.7m ( H1 2018: £34.1m).

David Nicol, chief executive, pictured, said:  “In the first half of 2019, the group has continued to deliver strong and resilient organic growth, even with the backdrop of volatile market conditions. This is demonstrated by the strength of our discretionary funds flows. Our strategy of focusing on our advice-led wealth management service in the direct market continues to deliver results.

“We are investing in our business to support future long-term growth. Over the past few months we have announced the replacement of our core custody and settlement system and a number of acquisitions. These initiatives are laying the foundations for long-term growth and will ensure that we are well placed to capture market opportunities.”

Highlights

– Total funds were £42.4bn (H1 2018: £39.7bn, FY 2018: £42.8bn).

–  Discretionary funds of £37.5bn (FY 2018: £37.6bn) reflect continued organic growth offset by investment performance.

–  Net inflows of discretionary funds, including transfers, of £0.8bn (H1 2018: £1.3bn) represent an annualised growth rate of 4.3% (H1 2018: 7.7%).

– Total income for the period increased marginally to £162.3m (H1 2018: £161.8m) due to largely flat average funds over the period.

– Total costs of £127.6m excluding adjusted items (H1 2018: £123.3m), 3.5% increase in-line with expectations from spending on growth initiatives and infrastructure projects.

– Profit before tax and adjusted items of £35.6m, 8.2% lower than H1 2018 (£38.8m).

– Statutory profit before tax of £29.7m, 12.9% lower than H1 2018 (£34.1m).

– Interim dividend of 4.4p per share announced (2018 interim: 4.4p per share).

IAG

IAG, the owner of British Airways, said pre-tax profits in the first three months of the year fell 61% to €86m (£74m).

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “In a quarter when European airlines were significantly affected by fuel and foreign exchange headwinds, market capacity impacting yield and the timing of Easter, we remained profitable and are reporting an operating profit of €135m.”.

At constant currency, non-fuel unit costs were down 0.6% while passenger unit revenue decreased by 1.4%.

In a trading update the company said: “IAG expects its 2019 operating profit before exceptional items to be in line with 2018 pro forma.”

Hamley’s

Toy retailer Hamley’s has a third foreign owner in four years after India’s Reliance Industries paid an undisclosed sum for the stores from China’s C Banner International. The Chinese firm bought Hamleys in 2015 for £100m ($130m) from France’s Ludendo.

Hamley’s runs 167 stores in 18 countries – the majority of these are in India.



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