- Specialist asset manager Mercia Asset Management posted an 8.5% rise in first-half profit amid a rise in the value of its investment portfolio.

The company also announced that it had agreed to acquire the venture capital trust fund management business of NVM Private Equity for up to £25.0m, to be funded via a £30.0m equity raising at 25p per share.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through September rose to £2.1m, up from £1.9m on-year.

Revenue rose 5.1% to £5.5m, while its direct investment portfolio fair value increased 31% to £102.0m.

'We are six months into our three-year plan to double assets under management, move the group to a profitable trading position and evergreen our balance sheet,' chief executive Mark Payton said.

'We expect that this will be achieved through both organic growth and selective acquisitions.'

'I am pleased to say that we have made a solid start to the year, demonstrating our ability to deliver for all our stakeholders.'

Payton said the NVM business was "highly complementary" to Mercia's existing activities and would cement its position as 'a leading provider of complete, connected capital to SMEs in the UK regions'.

At 8:25am: [LON:MERC] Mercia Technologies Plc share price was -5p at 27p

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