LONDON British investment bank and stockbroker Numis Corp (NUM.L) said on Tuesday its full-year profit increased more than fivefold as UK-listed companies and institutional investors regained confidence in equity markets.
A record level of activity in the year to September 30 drove pretax profit to 22.6 million pounds ($37 million) from 4.1 million pounds a year earlier, Numis said.
Revenue rose 55 percent to 77.7 million pounds, with income from trading and corporate and issuance transactions both seeing strong growth.
"Inflows are increasing and people are much more comfortable with equities than they were in the past," Chief Executive Oliver Hemsley said, adding that the company's new financial year had already seen buoyant activity in primary and secondary markets.
"The deal pipeline is building strongly and we are optimistic that favorable conditions for equity issuance will prevail in the short to medium term," he said.
The firm recruited 28 new corporate clients in the year to the end of September and won business in seven initial public offerings (IPOs), including those of cabling equipment maker HellermannTyton HTY.L, insurer esure (ESUR.L) and house builder Crest Nicholson (CRST.L).
Most recently Numis worked as joint bookrunner for the listing of estate agent Foxtons (FOXT.L), a step up from its role on previous floatations.
Hemsley said that this, in addition to its recent third place in a ranking of stockbrokers by number of FTSE 250 .FTMC clients, was a "huge move forward" and a sign that independent players can take on multinational investment banks in Britain.
"There has been a change during the downturn... There is an opportunity for an independent firm to be a champion of UK-listed companies," he said.
The Numis board proposed a final dividend of 5 pence, making a total dividend of 9 pence per share for the year. The company paid out 8 pence per share in 2012.
Numis shares, which have more than doubled since the start of the year, were up 0.9 percent at 292 pence at 1109 GMT.
(Reporting by Clare Hutchison; editing by Mark Potter and Tom Pfeiffer)