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July 9, 2020

WH Ireland cuts costs in 2020 and heads towards profit

By Patrick Brusnahan

WH Ireland is close to generating its first quarterly profit in years in June 2020 after reducing costs.

This is according to its annual report. Chair Phillip Shelley said: “There have clearly already been challenges to work through this year so I am pleased to see the Group expect to generate a profit for the first quarter ending June 2020. This is the first for a number of years, and is clear evidence of the progress made by the team and our employees more broadly, and bodes well for the future. There is still much to do, and we must remain absolutely focused on providing the very best service to our customers and clients – but we now have the opportunity to grow our business and to start to reward our shareholders.”

WH Ireland in 2020

Overall in the year ended 31 March 2020, WH Ireland saw a 4% decline in revenue, from £23.7m ($30m) in 2019 to £22.9m.

On the other hand, the firm managed a huge 23% decline in administrative expenses year-on-year from £33.4m to £25.8m.

In addition, exceptional items of £1m were lower than the previous year (£4.1m), attributed to the decommissioning of legacy platforms.

In its wealth management arm, total assets under management (AuM) declined to £1.8bn from £2.5bn. This was due to a combination of fund outflows in the first half and a reduction in market valuations in the last two months of the financial year.

At year end, WH Ireland has 154 staff, a drop from the 180 last year.

Chief executive Phillip Wale added: “This has been a uniquely challenging year. However, the significant changes that I flagged this time last year as key targets for the management team have now mainly been achieved and are leading to the building of a good business with good clients and revenue streams within a robust control framework that is now generating profits on a monthly basis. Despite the desperately difficult environment we find ourselves in my aim is to do everything possible to continue this excellent start to the current financial year across everything we do.

“The turnaround plan for WHIreland is on track with much of the challenging but necessary cost reduction achieved though there is more to do and I look forward with cautious optimism to executing the next stages of that plan including building a robust platform for growth in the coming year.”

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