Merchant banking group reports higher first-half profit

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British lender, Close Brothers, today reported a 6 per cent rise in first-half adjusted operating profit, driven by strength in its banking division.

The merchant banking group saw its profits before tax increase by 5 per cent to £138.6 for the six months to January 31. Meanwhile, the company’s assets under management also increased by 13 per cent to £11.8bn amid “strong” net inflows of £573m.

Preben Prebensen, chief executive of Close Brothers, said: “We are pleased with our performance and progress in the first half, delivering higher profit while staying true to our client and customer focused model, and maintaining our prudent and disciplined approach.

“All our businesses have achieved a good performance year to date, and we remain well positioned for the full year. Longer term, we are confident that the consistent application of our business model, along with our strong customer relationships, the expertise of our people and the quality of our service will allow us to continue performing well in all market conditions.”

Overall, the group saw its operating income increase by 7 per cent to £405.5m.

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