WH Ireland has registered its first half-year profit for five years, aided by a prolonged overhaul.

The overhaul included costs cuts at the wealth management arm and shutting down non-performing offices.

Key metrics

The group posted an adjusted operating profit of £0.5m for the six months to September, versus a loss of £0.91m in the prior year.

The half-yearly pre-tax profit was £0.33m, compared to a loss of £1.44m a year ago.

The regulatory capital solvency ratio (CET1) was 15.11% at the end of September 2020, as against 13.08% in March.

Cash balance increased to £5.85m in September from £2.58m in March.

Wealth Management

Reduction in market levels resulted in a 11% decrease in revenue at the business to £6.15m.

The firm also reported growth in assets, despite the Covid-19-induced turbulence

Group AUM increased 14% to £1.73bn from £1.52bn in March 2020. The figures exclude the firm’s Isle of Man business that was offloaded to investment manager Ravenscroft.

Corporate & Institutional Broking

Revenue at the business surged 61% to £6.22m.

The business had 80 corporate clients at the end of September 2020, compared to 76 as of 31 March 2020. The amount of money raised increased to £103.86m from 32 transactions from £43.13m.

WH Ireland CEO Phillip Wale said:  “Over the last six months, WHIreland has seen the benefits of the significant restructuring we embarked on 18 months ago; fixed costs have reduced over that period, whilst revenue has remained broadly flat as we have simplified the business.

“Our Wealth Management business has remained operationally robust despite the significant market falls in March, and our Corporate and Institutional Business is showing strong momentum as we act for an increasing number of clients.”

Wale was also optimistic about the second half’s performance.

He believes that despite the uncertainty triggered by the pandemic, the momentum of the first half offers the business a “strong platform for the second half”.