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WH Ireland's shares sink 10% on further losses

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WH Ireland's shares sink 10% on further losses

WH Ireland's shares are down 9.68% today after it posted a further loss of £2.5 million as restructuring costs continued to weigh on the business.

The group's reported revenue fell from £14.5 million to £12.8 million over the six months to the end of September, pushing the firm into the black, up from a £1.3 million loss, including exceptional items the same period last year.

In a separate stock market announcement this morning, the company also announced that finance director Daniel Cowland has quit. He will leave by 30 April 2019 to ensure a smooth handover, with an interim head of finance to be appointed on 3 December.

Chief executive Phillip Wale, who joined the company in August, admitted that the overhaul of the firm’s back office continues to overrun and be over budget, adding an additional £177,000 of system migration costs to the £870,000 it absorbed in the same period last year. Additional restructuring costs of £331,000 were down from £527 million year-on-year.

Administrative expenses edged up from £14.3 million to £14.8 million over the period.

WH Ireland issued a profit warning at the start of the year and raised £2.4 million in equity to build a capital buffer in February. It issued a further earnings alert in May, prompting it to raise an additional £2 million in September, in a move that saw M&G’s Tom Dobell take a 12% stake in his Recovery fund.

But after a turbulent period, Wale said he is starting to see some positives. He pointed to total assets under management in the firm’s private wealth management division rising 3% to £2.6 billion. Its Navigator proposition for smaller clients and wealth planning propositions also reported positive inflows.

‘The division continued its transformation programme during the period under review, which has been both costly and challenging for the business but I am pleased to see the progress that has been achieved to date,’ he said.

‘One of the key initiatives being undertaken has been outsourcing our custody and operational functions and, as previously reported, this complex project has run over budget and taken longer to implement. However, looking forward, it has resulted in a more robust and scalable operating platform from which to build the division.’

He added that the corporate and institutional broking unit continues to operate in a ‘challenging market’, but has an ‘encouraging’ pipeline for 2019.



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