- Investec reported a rise in annual net assets as operating profits rose 9.4% amid net inflows, good loan book growth, and 'significantly improved performance' in the UK Specialist Banking business.

For the year ended 31 March, assets under management increased by 7.3% to £111.4bn and statutory operating profit increased 9.4% to £664.5m.

Net interest income increased by 7.2% to £815.4m driven by lending activity and endowment impact from rate rises in the UK.

The upbeat results come against a 'challenging operating environment with weak economic growth in both South Africa and the UK, the group's two core banking markets, as well as mixed equity market performance over the year,' the company said.

Trading income arising from customer flow decreased by 12.7% to £120.7m, reflecting 'subdued client flow trading levels given the uncertainty in both geographies,' it added.

A weaker rand also kept a lid on growth, with the rand/pound sterling exchange rate falling 4.8% over the year. 

The company said it was on track with the proposed demerger and separate listing of Investec Asset Management which should 'enhance the long-term prospects of both businesses.'

'We are implementing our strategy to simplify, focus and grow with discipline. We are committed to the demerger and listing of the Asset Management business and the positioning of the Bank and Wealth business for long-term growth. In spite of a challenging operating environment, these results speak to strong support from our clients,' said Fani Titi and Hendrik du Toit, Joint Chief Executive Officers.

At 8:55am: [LON:INVP] Investec PLC share price was +1.25p at 482.55p

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