Close Brothers Group PLC is proposing a final dividend of 42.0p

DividendMax Ltd.

Close Brothers Group PLC is proposing a final dividend of 42.0p

The Close Brothers Group board is proposing a final dividend of 42.0p per share, resulting in a full-year dividend per share of 60.0p (2020: 40.0p), up 50% on the prior year. This reflects the group's strong performance in the year and continued confidence in their business model and financial position. Subject to approval at the Annual General Meeting, the final dividend will be paid on 23 November 2021 to shareholders on the register at 15 October 2021. 

Other financial highlights include: 

The group delivered a strong performance in evolving market conditions, with income up 10%. Pre provisions, adjusted operating profit also increased 10%

They saw high new business volumes and significantly lower impairment charges in Banking, good net inflows in Asset Management and strong trading volumes in Winterflood, resulting in an adjusted operating profit of £270.7 million, 88% higher than the prior year (2020: £144.0 million)

Statutory operating profit before tax increased 88% to £265.2 million (2020: £140.9 million), and includes exceptional and other adjusting items relating to a VAT refund and the impairment of goodwill and intangible assets on acquisition

Adjusted operating profit in the Banking division increased 114% to £212.5 million (2020: £99.2 million), reflecting strong loan book growth of 10.9%, a strong net interest margin of 7.7% (2020: 7.5%), rigorous cost discipline and a significant reduction in impairment charges

The bad debt ratio reduced to 1.1% (2020: 2.3%), with a strong underlying credit performance across the Commercial, Retail and Property businesses, as well as a reduction in Covid-19 provisions

The Asset Management division generated good net inflows of 7%, with managed assets up 24% to £15.6 billion (31 July 2020: £12.6 billion). Adjusted operating profit increased 16% to £23.7 million (2020: £20.4 million) as higher income more than offset continued investment to support the long-term growth potential of the business

Winterflood delivered an exceptionally strong trading performance, although activity has slowed over the last few months. Adjusted operating profit increased 27% to £60.9 million (2020: £47.9 million), with only one loss day in a volatile market environment

The group maintained a strong capital, funding and liquidity position. Their common equity tier 1 ("CET1") capital ratio of 15.8% (31 July 2020: 14.1%) provides significant headroom above applicable minimum requirements

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