* H1 pretax profit up 85 pct to 16.7 mln stg
* H1 revenue up 59 pct to 51.5 mln stg
* Interim dividend rises 25 pct to 5 pence (Adds details, quotes from CEO)
LONDON, May 7 (Reuters) - British investment bank and stockbroker Numis Corp said first-half pretax profits rose 85 percent, helped by resilient equity markets and a surge in stock market listings in London.
Profit before tax for the six months to March 31 rose to 16.7 million pounds ($28.4 million) from 9 million pounds a year earlier. Revenue was up almost 60 percent at 51.5 million pounds.
Numis, which advises on initial public offerings (IPO) as well as providing corporate broking services and equity research, worked on 23 equity issuance deals in its first half, including the IPO of domestic appliance retailer AO World . That compares with a total of 38 for the entire 2013 financial year.
London has proved a popular destination for listings this year, with first-quarter volumes reaching their highest since the same period in 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.
“There is a marked increase in the number of high-quality companies seeking to access capital through an IPO in London,” Chief Executive Oliver Hemsley said.
“This increased activity, together with our existing corporate clients gaining in confidence, is feeding through to our results and the wider economy.”
Numis also posted record first-half institutional commission and trading revenue at 23.5 million pounds, up by almost a quarter compared with the same period in 2013.
It said it added 16 corporate clients, bringing its total to 165 and pushing retainer fees 13 percent higher.
It will pay an interim dividend of 5 pence per share, a 25 percent increase on a year earlier, it said.
The company was positive for the second half, having already completed work on three IPOs. It said its deal pipeline remains strong and it expects further benefits from an expected rise in interest rates that will favour equities over bonds.
In a separate statement, Numis said it had appointed former solicitor Robert Sutton as a non-executive director and confirmed that Gerald Corbett would take over as non-executive chairman of the board when David Arculus retires.
Shares in Numis, which are quoted on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM junior market and have risen more than 12 percent this year, closed at 298 pence on Tuesday. ($1 = 0.5885 British Pounds)
Reporting by Clare Hutchison; Editing by David Goodman