Close Brothers plc have announced an interim dividend of 22.7p (2019: 22.0p) represents an increase of 3% from the prior year and reflects our commitment to a progressive dividend policy, which aims to grow the dividend year on year while maintaining a prudent level of dividend cover. The interim dividend is due to be paid on 22 April 2020 to shareholders on the register at 20 March 2020.
Other financial highlights include:
The group delivered a strong return on opening equity of 13.6%
On an adjusted basis, group operating profit reduced 9% year on year to £125.7 million. On a statutory basis, group operating profit before tax from continuing operations decreased 8% to £124.1 million
Their capital position has strengthened further, with the CET1 capital ratio increasing to 13.4%
Banking adjusted operating profit reduced 12% year on year to £115.4 million, reflecting modest income growth combined with some normalisation of bad debts and ongoing investment
The net interest margin was 7.8%, reflecting continued pricing discipline. The loan book remained broadly flat in the period, and the bad debt ratio increased to 0.9%, from historically low levels. Overall credit quality of the loan book remains strong.
Asset Management achieved an adjusted operating profit of £12.6 million, up 17% year on year, supported by strong annualised net inflows at 12% and positive market movements, reflecting the strength of their client proposition and ongoing investment in the business
Winterflood benefited from a recovery in investor trading activity following the UK general election and delivered operating profit of £10.6 million, up 14% year on year