- Specialist wealth manager Mercia Asset Management declared a maiden dividend after it posted a large rise in first-half profit.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through September jumped to £8.0 million, up from £2.1 million year-on-year, and included a £6.7 million gain on investments.

Adjusted operating profit was £1.1 million, swinging from a £0.6 million loss, as revenue jumped 51% to £8.4 million.

Mercia Asset Management declared an interim dividend of 0.1 pence per share.

'These record results mark the halfway point in our three-year strategic plan to achieve adjusted operating profitability, expand the group's assets under management to at least £1.0 billion and to 'evergreen' Mercia's balance sheet,' chief executive Mark Payton said.

''We have successfully built scale in our third-party fund management business and the fees this is generating are enabling us to deliver a sustainable adjusted operating profit, in turn underpinning our maiden interim dividend and the adoption of a progressive dividend policy.'

'Our total AuM have now increased to around £872 million, around £722 million of which is third-party funds under management, and we remain confident in achieving our target of £1.0b illion in total AuM within the next 18 months.'

At 8:51am: [LON:MERC] Mercia Technologies Plc share price was 0p at 19.5p

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