Somers posts profit and becomes debt-free
The parent firm of Bermuda Commercial Bank logged a profit of $1.2 million in the last quarter of 2014.
Financial investment services holding company Somers Ltd said the figure pushed the profit for the full year to $8.7 million, while the firm also repaid its loans and became debt-free.
Somers chairman Warren McLeland said: “Somers recorded a profit of $1.2 million for the quarter with dividend income and net valuation gains from the investment portfolio offsetting negative currency movements.
“This profit along with capital received from the exercise of warrants by Utilico Investments Ltd in October 2014 resulted in a 0.7 per cent increase in total shareholders’ equity.”
Somers’ holdings includes the BCB, property developers West Hamilton Holdings, Waverton Investment Management, the Private & Commercial Finance Group, Westhouse Holdings, Ascot Lloyd Holdings and Merrion Capital Holdings.
Mr McLeland added: “There was little transactional activity during the December quarter as the company’s capital is currently fully invested.
“We did, however, repay all our outstanding loans during the quarter, leaving the company fully unleveraged as at December 31, 2014.”
And he said: “We remain comfortable with our current portfolio composition and this allows us to look forward to the remainder of the year with a cautious degree of confidence.”
BCB reported a profit of $1 million for the quarter on revenue of $6.1 million.
The bank’s capital position went down to just under $105 million at the end of the 2014 fourth quarter from $113.4 million at the end of the previous quarter.
The final quarter also the bank end the year with “significant liquidity” — 38 per cent of its balance sheet in cash and cash equivalents.
The year-end statement said: “This structure creates a solid base for the bank as it moves in 2015.”
Waverton — which represented 33 per cent of Somers’ investment portfolio at the end of 2014 — recorded a profit of $2.2 million and revenue of $8.5 million for the final quarter of last year.
The firm had assets under management of $5.4 billion at the end of 2014.
But the statement warned that factors like increased regulatory costs, volatility in the world’s equity markets, the UK general election scheduled for May and potential tightening of US interest rates could have an impact on the Waverton’s assets under management and profitability.
Subsidiary, West Hamilton Holdings, started a residential development of nine apartments in the Hamilton area after the end of the final quarter of 2014 and is expected to take around 16 months to complete.
The financial statement said: “There has been significant interest in the development and we anticipate it will prove to be a profitable venture for the company.”
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