Close Brothers Group has registered an adjusted operating profit of £138.8m for the six months to the end of January 2019.

This is a fall of 4% from last year’s figure of £143.9m.

The fall was said to be the result of “difficult market conditions”.

Statutory operating profit before tax also dropped 3% to £135.6m from £140.2m a year ago.

Adjusted operating income at the group was £407.4m in the first half of 2019, up 1% from the previous year.

The firm attributed the rise to higher income in banking division and asset management segments.

Adjusted operating expenses increased 5% year-on-year to £246.7m. This was said to be mainly due to investment in the banking unit.

The group’s common equity tier 1 (CET1) capital ratio at the end of January 2019 was 13%.

Asset management profit falls

Adjusted operating profit in the company’s asset management arm dropped 5% to £10.8m on a year-on-year basis.

The firm said that the decline was driven by negative market movements.

Statutory operating profit in asset management dropped 2% to £8.5m from £8.7m.

The unit reported net inflows of £376m during the period.

Adjusted operating expenses at the division were £47.7m, a 7% rise from £44.6m last year.

The increase in expenses was said to be due to investment in front office staff and research capability.

Winterflood business profits

Operating profit at the company’s Winterflood business was £9.3m for the six months through January, a 37% slump from £14.7m last year.

Operating expenses at the unit dropped 11% to £36.5m from £40.9m.

Close Brothers CEO Preben Prebensen said: “Longer term, we are confident that the disciplined application of our business model will continue to allow us to support our clients and customers and invest in our business, while maintaining strong returns and profitability in a wide range of market conditions.”