By Esha Vaish
(Reuters) - Stockbroker and investment bank Panmure Gordon & Co Plc's full-year profit nearly doubled, as it signed new corporate clients and got a boost from the pick-up in British IPO activity in the second half.
The firm, whose clients range from FTSE-100 components to small-cap companies, said net commission and fee income jumped 29 percent to 27.32 million pounds ($45.05 million) in the year ended December 31.
Pretax profit from continuing operations rose to 1.17 million pounds from 595,000 pounds a year earlier.
Panmure Gordon, founded in 1876 during England's second industrial revolution, raised more than 1.46 billion pounds for its clients across 11 IPOs and 20 fundraisings.
Last year was London's busiest for stock market listings since the financial crisis struck, with theme park operator Merlin Entertainments and estate agency Foxtons among the big-ticket offerings.
Polar Capital Global Financials Trust's 153 million pound IPO was 2013's largest for Panmure Gordon, which advises over 130 companies through its offices in England, Switzerland and Singapore.
Technology companies were leading this IPO wave, Panmure Gordon said on Tuesday.
"We've seen an appetite for tech and it has in no way waned. If anything, it has strengthened to become in some cases a little bit more diverse," Chief Executive Phillip Wale told Reuters.
Investors were keen on IPOs at the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), London's junior exchange, where growth rates are higher, Panmure Gordon said.
"As large industries have started to run out of steam, to become fully valued investors start to look down the market-cap scale where they can get growth in return," said Wale.
According to the London Stock Exchange website, its submarket AIM was the most successful growth market in the world.
The AIM all-share index <.FTAIS> jumped 23 percent in the second half of 2013, outpacing the FTSE-100's <.FTSE> 8.6 percent growth and a 14.5 percent rise in the S&P 500 Index
Panmure Gordon said on Tuesday it brought on board 34 new corporate clients in 2013.
The company did not recommended a dividend for the year. But Chief Financial Office Philip Tansey said it intended to do so this year.
Shares in Panmure Gordon, which listed in 2005 on London's AIM exchange through a reverse takeover of Durlacher Corp, were up nearly 1 percent at 170 pence in slim trade at 1003 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Esha Vaish and Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)
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