Investec Reports a 21% Rise in Operating Profit


LONDON -- Investec -- the South Africa based international specialist bank and asset manager -- is currently down over 4%, despite revealing a 21% increase in its adjusted operating profit in its final results for the year to 31 March 2013.

The biggest growth was seen in the company's wealth & investment business, which recorded an increase in adjusted operating profit of 31%, up to 50.7 million pounds. Specialist banking was close behind, with a rise of 30%, at 224 million pounds, but asset management only managed 4.8%, up to 140 million pounds.

The company reported that its overall results have been adversely affected by a 13% depreciation of the Rand against Sterling over the course of the year. But the company said that a significant drop in impairments enabled its Australian business to return to profitability, and that results from its UK business were "slightly ahead" of the prior year.

Adjusted earnings per share was up just over 28%, at 37 pence, and the board is recommending a final dividend of 10 pence, bringing the full-year dividend to 18 pence, an increase of almost 6%.

Commenting on the results Stephen Koseff, Investec's chief executive officer, said:

I am encouraged by the progress we have made over the past few years in realigning our business model. Our capital light businesses now account for 49% of the group's operating profit, providing a sustainable base for our recurring income. We have continued improving our efficiencies, streamlining our processes, eliminating duplication and building scale, notably in our Specialist Banking businesses.

Maintaining a sound balance sheet while driving growth in our return ratios remains a key focus. Our priority is to ensure each division and geography achieves an appropriate return. The recent improvement in equity markets bodes well for our business and we are well positioned to take advantage of a sustained market upturn.

Shareholders in Investec have enjoyed an increase in share price of just over 60% since this time last year. Better still, they're also getting a dividend yield of around 3.7%, which is forecast to rise to just over 4% in 2014.

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