W.H. Ireland Group PLC (LON:WHI) today issued a trading statement for the 12 month period to 30 November 2017.
The Group has continued to deliver on its strategic operational and technological change programme to become recognised as a leading advice driven financial services company. The Group has had an improved year from a revenue perspective and the Board expects this positive momentum to continue into 2018. Costs associated with the transition to the new model and MIFID II regulatory changes were higher than anticipated and these exceptional costs have adversely affected profitability in 2017. Duplicated costs incurred during the period will decline significantly in 2018 benefiting future profitability.
The Private Wealth Management division has continued to transition the business from an execution, commission based model to a discretionary, advice driven fee model. The discretionary investment proposition continues to grow and fee income across the division has risen by in excess of 15% compared with the prior year. Of particular note has been the success of our Wealth Planning team which has seen growth in revenue of approximately 40% over the same period. The overall quality of our investment business continues to improve as we actively reduce the number of client relationships ( and the assets attached to those relationships ) from whom we have historically generated a very low return. This trend will continue into 2018.
The Corporate and Institutional Broking division has continued the success of the first half of the year with strong growth in success fees, secondary commission flows and market making activity. The number of corporate clients whom we advise has grown to 86 and the new initiatives that were begun during the year are beginning to evolve into revenue generating opportunities. Our private company initiative, the Investor Forum, has gained significant momentum and we expect this new initiative to enhance the revenue growth prospects of this division during the forthcoming year.
On 21 June 2017, W.H. Ireland Group plc announced that it was changing its accounting reference date to 31 March; which will mean that the current financial period will be extended to a 16 month accounting period to 31 March 2018. As part of this transition, a second set of unaudited interim numbers, for the 12 month period to 30 November 2017, will be released on or around 29 January 2018.