Chairman, David Gelber, explained in the commentary to the results: “Two years ago the Board established a strategic plan to transform the company from a predominantly traditional private client stockbroker to a full service investment and wealth management group. The strategy is delivering for shareholders.”
While revenue increased only marginally, to £20.4m for the full year, gross profit rose 19% to £14.1m. This growth in profits demonstrates: “the success of the strategic plan and the progress of substantial transformation in our investment and wealth management businesses,” it said.
For the year, non-broking income was marginally higher at 52.7% of the group’s total income.
Within its investment management division, Walker Crips said its front office has more than doubled in size from two years ago.
“No fewer than 38 new client-facing recruits have joined us since March,” IT ADDED.
Traditional advisory and execution-only business, benefitted from the recent active market, growing commission income 27% over the period.
“Growth in AUM continued at the impressive pace set in the prior year, with Discretionary and Advisory Managed funds totalling £1.33bn (2013: £1.03bn) while total Assets under Management and Administration now approach the £3bn milestone,” the group said.
The group also increased its final dividend 17.8% to 1.06p per share, which brought its total dividend for the year to 1.57p per share, 14.6% higher than the previous year.
Rodney FitzGerald, Walker Crips CEO, said that the group is encouraged by the growth pattern that has now been established and added that its search for “further suitable acquisitions of the right individuals, teams and entities continues”.
And, he added, while overall trading activity has been somewhat muted in the opening weeks of the new financial year, the group anticipates: “that the pension flexibility measures introduced in the March 2014 Budget will change the investment landscape radically with a particularly positive impact on growth potential for both our SIPP and SSAS offerings in the current year and beyond.”