- Close Brothers Group's adjusted operating profits rose to 13% to £264.8m in the year to the end of July.

Banking delivered an adjusted operating profit of £243.5m, up 9% on the prior year, with stable net interest margin and continued low impairments.

The group said the increase in banking profit was driven by property finance, with operating profit growth of 24%.

Adjusted operating profit in commercial finance was up 4%, while retail finance was broadly flat.

The group said: 'The loan book grew by 7.0% to £6.9 billion, as we continue to apply our disciplined approach to lending in a competitive environment.#

'Winterflood reported operating profit of £28.1 million, almost 50% higher than the prior year, reflecting strong retail investor trading activity.

'Asset management continued to make good progress with adjusted operating profit of £17.4 million and good net inflows, at 9% of opening managed assets.'

The board has proposed a full year dividend of 60.0p per share - up 5% which, it said, reflected its progressive dividend policy.

Chief executive Preben Prebensen said: 'I am pleased to report another good performance for the group in the 2017 financial year, with increased profits across all three divisions.

'In an evolving market environment, we remain committed to our established business model, which relies on the expertise of our people to deliver consistently high levels of service, building deep and sustainable relationships with clients and intermediaries.

'As a business, we remain well positioned longer-term, focusing on protecting our margins and underwriting discipline, improving our model through continued investment and extending into new products and markets.

'All of this ensures we can continue to support our clients and drive long-term value for our shareholders through all stages of the financial cycle.'

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