Numis Corp. (NUM), the London-based stockbroker, swung to a full-year operating profit of 1.8 million pounds ($2.8 million), excluding a one-time litigation charge, as the company boosted trading commissions.
That compares to an operating loss of 474,000 pounds the previous year, the company said in a statement today. Revenue rose 4 percent to 54.2 million pounds after an 11 percent increase in trading commissions to 29.3 million pounds. That came as average trading volume in the FTSE 100 Index fell by 10 percent on the previous year.
“In the context of difficult market conditions, to increase revenue and operating profit was a reasonable result,” Chief Executive Officer Oliver Hemsley said in a telephone interview. “It demonstrates our ability to attract corporate clients and capture market share.”
London’s stockbrokers are struggling as the sovereign-debt crisis roils markets, forcing companies to delay initial public offerings and investors to cut the number of shares they trade. Evolution Group Plc (EVG) said Nov. 18 it will post an operating loss after third-quarter investment-banking income fell “considerably.” Tim Linacre, CEO of Panmure Gordon & Co., stepped down Nov. 30 after the U.K. broker announced it would report a loss because of “severe market turmoil.”
Numis had a net loss of 671,000 pounds after paying a 2.2 million-pound litigation charge relating to a 2007 fundraising for Canadian oil company Rock Well Petroleum Inc., according to the statement. That compared with a net loss of 101,000 pounds the year earlier.
The company’s shares rose 2.4 percent to 86 pence at 10:20 a.m. in London trading, giving Numis a market value of 95.6 million pounds.
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