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Investec Says First-Quarter Operating Profit Little Changed

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Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Investec Plc, which owns a bank and money manager in South Africa and the U.K., said fiscal first-quarter operating profit was little changed amid receding bad debt levels and weaker trading at its banking business.

Operating profit before goodwill, acquired intangibles, non-operating items and taxation and after non-controlling interests is “in line” with the same period a year earlier, with earnings on that basis 11 percent higher on a currency neutral basis, the Johannesburg- and London-based company said in a statement today, without giving figures.

“The asset management and wealth and investment businesses have continued to see net inflows and have benefited from higher average funds under management, with both divisions recording results ahead of the prior year,” Investec said. “The specialist banking business reported results behind the prior year largely due to lower activity levels from the weak trading environment and the weakness of the rand.”

Investec is made up of asset management operations, a wealth business and a specialist banking unit, operating across the U.K., Australia and South Africa. Investec has focused on boosting return on equity and taking on more clients as it seeks to increase earnings.

Investec is the best-performing bank stock in South Africa this year, having gained 16 percent compared with the 6 percent decline by the six-member FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index. The stock gained 3 percent to 67.70 rand at the close in Johannesburg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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