Shore Capital gets profit boost as markets recover

Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:19am EDT

* Pretax profit jumps to 3.7 mln stg

* Final dividend 0.5 pence per share

* ECM volumes recover

By Tommy Wilkes

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - British investment banking boutique Shore Capital saw a jump in pretax profit last year as recovering financial markets encouraged firms to raise funds and seek deals.

After years of subdued activity due to the financial crisis, London markets have seen a resurgence in business, particularly of firms looking to sell shares amid a rise in the benchmark FTSE-100 index to five year highs.

Shore, which provides corporate broking services and research to small and mid-sized firms, said on Tuesday pretax profit for the 12 months to Dec. 31 rose to 3.7 million pounds ($5.6 million) from 400,000 a year earlier.

Corporate finance and corporate broking revenue rose by a third while secondary commissions in its equity capital markets business grew 15 percent.

Founder Howard Shore said firms were eager to use their cash, although he remained cautious about a further market recovery given the potential for a flare-up of economic instability in the debt-laden euro zone.

"The companies that have survived the recession are in a much healthier state and they've got an increasing appetite to do things," he told Reuters.

Guernsey-headquartered Shore said it had also increased its stake in German telecoms business Spectrum Investments to 59.26 percent since the year end.

Funds under management in Shore's asset management business dropped to 870 million pounds from 1.21 billion pounds a year earlier, meanwhile, amid a restructuring of the division.

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