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Daniel Stewart back in profit despite market turmoil

AIM-listed investment bank Daniel Stewart Securities has just raised £60 million for a client and feels confident of doing the same for others, despite the current turmoil in the market.

The group is confident that it will be able to convert a number of similar sized fund raisings this year, chief executive Peter Shea says in a first-quarter trading statement.

Now that the business has been refocused and the team strengthened, the group has returned to profitability and is well placed to build on a strong start to the year, he says.

The group suffered an operating loss of £4.4 million in the year to 31 March compared to a profit of £2.7 million for 2006. After taking into account interest, depreciation and exceptional items, the loss was £5.3 million down from a profit of £1.7 million the previous year.

The year was marred by the unexpected introduction in the US of legislation in the on-line gaming industry which meant that two of its clients had to cease trading losing it £1.5 million as its options and stock positions became worthless.

'Trading conditions during the second half of the year were decidedly more difficult,' said Shea. Some of the problem was due to fears around the debt market relating to sub-prime.

'Revenue in the second half of the year was £2.2 million, down from £5.3 million in the first half. This was partly as a result of poor market conditions and partly due to the widespread restructuring of the business,' Shea added.

Revenue for the 12 months fell to £7.5 million from £8.9 million the previous year, a decrease of 16%. The figures were down 20% at the gross profit level with £6.5 million versus £8.1 million for 2006.

Daniel Stewart (DAN) shares fell 1.5p in early trading to 14p, down 9.68% valuing the Old Jewry-based group at £30.15 million.

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