Somers Ltd profit triples as BCB posts strong results
The parent company of Bermuda Commercial Bank said profit more than tripled to $15.3 million during the first nine months of its fiscal year.
Somers Ltd, whose investments also include stakes in several financial services firms in the UK and Ireland, said yesterday that shareholders’ equity climbed 17.9 percent during the October 2013 through June 2014 period.
The profits were driven by a strong performance at BCB, which saw increases in profits, revenue, net interest income and non-interest income. This was backed up by UK asset manager Waverton Investment Management Ltd, whose assets under management grew, fuelled by rising markets.
Somers chairman Warren McLeland said: “Somers’ results are an indication of the strong performance from its investments in the first nine months of the year. Profit for the period has more than tripled from the same period last year.
“Despite the increasing regulatory burden in the financial services sector, both BCB and Waverton continue to increase not just their profit but improve all their key metrics.
“We were pleased to make a further investment in Ascot Lloyd to fund a transformational acquisition. We also completed our investment in Merrion post the period end and look forward to working with their other major shareholders and benefiting from the synergies Merrion can bring to other parts of the Somers group. We continue to look forward with confidence for the rest of the year.”
BCB posted net income for the nine months of $11.8 million, compared to $6.8 million in the same period last year. Revenue rose by $8 million to $28.3 million, representing a near 40 percent increase from the prior-year period.
The bank’s total assets at June 30 were $595.7 million, up $4 million from last year, while customer deposit balances fell by $9.5 million to $458 million.
Gains from the sales of financial investments were $14 million, compared to $9.6 million a year earlier. BCB’s capital position remained strong with a tier one capital ratio of 21.87 percent.
Waverton, in which Somers owns a 62.5 percent stake, earned pre-tax profit of $9.1 million on revenue of $38.1 million during the month. The Waverton European Fund, which had $1.6 billion in assets under management at June 30, generated a large part of the new asset growth.
During the nine-month period, Waverton’s assets under management grew to $8.7 billion, up from $6.4 billion.
Somers also holds a 29.4 percent stake in Private & Commercial Finance Group plc, whose pre-tax profit rose 50 percent to $2.1 million.
Results were not so good at UK stockbroking firm Westhouse Holdings plc, which posted a $2.1 million loss. Somers, which owns 84.6 percent of Westhouse’s shares, said it expected several corporate transactions in the pipeline to improve Westhouse’s results.
Somers also reported on significant business after the end of the nine-month period.
In July, Somers completed a 3.25 million-euro investment in Ireland-based Merrion Capital Holdings Ltd, including a 750,000-euro equity investment, which represents a 6.6 percent stake, and a three-year convertible loan note of 2.5 million euros.
Earlier this month, Somers agreed to invest a further £2.4 million in Ascot Lloyd Holdings Ltd. The investment from Somers was used to fund Ascot Lloyd’s acquisition of assets from IFG plc. Somers has entered into a new three-year convertible loan agreement for £1.2 million and a three-year loan of £1.2 million.
“On conversion of the convertibles held by Somers, we would be interested in 30 percent of Ascot Lloyd’s issued share capital,” Somers stated. “We believe this is a transformational acquisition for Ascot Lloyd, doubling the size of the business and increasing its assets under management to over £1 billion.”
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