StockMarketWire.com - WH Ireland said whilst its underlying trading performance has improved slightly on last year the board now expects adjusted operating profits to be below its previous expectations.

"This has been due to a decline in dealing commission revenue in the last quarter in the Private Wealth Management division in common with others in the industry, and delays to transactions being completed in the Corporate Broking division which are now expected in 2015," the company said.

"In addition significant non-recurring costs have been incurred relating to the reorganisation, such that profit before tax is expected to be below last year which had benefited from £0.7m of one off gains.

Looking ahead, WH Ireland has greater confidence for 2015, reflecting not only the positive impact of delayed business from 2014 being executed in 2015, but also anticipates a significant margin improvement across the business as a whole and in particular within the Private Wealth Management division.

Reflecting the Board's confidence in the outlook for 2015, it will be proposing to Shareholders an increase in the final dividend payment of 0.5p to 2p per Ordinary share. This will be subject to shareholder approval at the 2015 AGM.

The Private Wealth Management division has made a substantial investment during the period in the recruitment of new teams with primarily discretionary books of business in the UK (principally in Birmingham, London and Milton Keynes) and the Isle of Man, the full financial benefits of which will become evident in 2015.

Furthermore the division has successfully exited from a number of smaller regional offices and also from low margin product lines which were non-core to the division`s strategy and profitability criteria.

The Corporate Broking division has continued to grow its corporate client list and as of the year end the number of clients had risen to 93 from 85 at year end 2013.

In addition the division has continued to attract and recruit senior individuals across all disciplines, which is expected to enable the corporate client list to continue to grow. Due to the recent less favourable market conditions in the last quarter a number of proposed corporate and M & A transactions, and the associated fees thereon, have been delayed into 2015.

The major transition referred to above is now complete and the new management team is making significant progress in both reducing risk and identifying and implementing efficiency gains across the Company. The cost of these structural changes combined with higher than anticipated specific regulatory costs are expected to result in a non-recurring charge in excess of £0.7m.

WH Ireland noted it had undergone significant change during 2014 in order to create a more stable and robust structure from which it can progress with confidence to achieve its growth ambitions for 2015 and beyond.

Progress had been made in growing like for like assets under management, increasing the number of corporate clients, completing a major management and business reorganisation whilst continuing to invest in people and systems.



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