StockMarketWire.com - Specialist bank and asset manager Investec said operating profit before goodwill, intangibles and taxation decreased 2.3% to £222.8m in the first half-year.

Overall group results in the half-year to end-September have been negatively impacted by the depreciation of the average Rand: Pounds Sterling exchange rate of approximately 16% over the period.

Asset Management reported results 6.8% ahead of the prior year and Wealth & Investment's results increased 35.0%, with both divisions benefiting from higher levels of average funds under management and combined net inflows in excess of £1.8bn.

The Specialist Banking business reported a decline in operating profit of 12.9%.

The South African Specialist Bank posted a strong performance from the majority of businesses, with operating profit increasing 45.4% in Rands.

In the UK Specialist Bank the ongoing business reported an operating profit of £76.1 million, whilst the legacy business reported a loss of £49.2 million.

In Australia a review of the business was undertaken and a number of businesses subsequently, closed down. Continuing operations reported an operating profit of A$11.9 million

Recurring income as a percentage of total operating income amounted to 72.1% (2012: 69.4%).

Impairments have decreased by 28.2%, with the credit loss charge as a percentage of average gross core loans and advances improving from 0.84% at 31 March 2013 to 0.71%

The group maintained a sound capital position with core/common equity tier one ratios of 9.1% for Investec plc (per Basel II) and 9.5% for Investec Limited (per Basel III).

Liquidity remains strong with cash and near cash balances amounting to £8.6 billion

Stephen Koseff, CEO, said: "We have delivered results at the top end of what we anticipated, despite a sharp fall in the Rand without which we would have shown a 13% increase in earnings. We have worked hard to deal with many of the legacy issues within the group and will continue to take decisive action in order to ensure Investec is in the right shape to take advantage of the recovery in the world economy and markets."

Bernard Kantor, Managing Director, said: "We are showing good growth in the vast majority of our businesses, and where growth is not in line with our expectations, we are tackling those issues head on. Our aim is to ensure we focus, build and expand the areas where we have core competencies that can generate appropriate shareholder returns across our business. As previously mentioned, we will effectively deal with those businesses that cannot deliver decent returns."




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