Shore Capital profit doubles as interest rises in small and mid-size stocks

Reuters - UK Focus

* FY pretax profit 5.4 mln stg vs year before 2.5 mln

* FY revenue up 9 percent to 35.8 mln stg

* To pay final dividend of 4p/shr, takes total to 8p

* Shares up 2.8 pct

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - British investment bankingboutique Shore Capital Group Plc said full-year pretaxprofit more than doubled on the back of increasing interest inthe small and mid-sized stocks in which it specialises.

Shore, which provides research and corporate brokingservices and is the third-largest market-maker of equities onthe London Stock Exchange (Other OTC: LDNXF - news) by number of stocks traded,reported pretax profit of 5.4 million pounds ($9 million),compared with 2.5 million a year earlier.

Full-year revenue in the year to Dec. 31 increased 9 percentto 35.8 million pounds, the company said on Monday.

Shore's equity capital markets division made a profit of 6million pounds, up almost a fifth from the year before, afterworking on deals including two flotations, one reverse takeoverand a transfer to the LSE's AIM junior stock market.

Commissions from share trading remained strong, the companysaid, adding that a rule change allowing investors to hold AIMstocks in individual saving accounts (ISAs) - which give limitedtax-free saving - had helped drive volumes.

Executive Chairman Howard Shore told Reuters the businesshad gained good momentum which had carried on into 2014.

Earlier this year Shore participated in the stock marketlistings of retailer Poundland and CircassiaPharmaceuticals and a 326 million pound secondaryplacing on behalf of the largest shareholder in betting softwarecompany Playtech (LSE: PTEC.L - news) .

Shore said the company had a strong pipeline of prospectivebusiness and would add senior, experienced personnel to itscorporate finance team where there are opportunities for growth.The technology, pharmaceuticals and biotech sectors were likelyto see further developments, he added.

The company's asset management arm reported funds undermanagement of 880 million pounds, up slightly from 870 millionthe year before.

Shore said it would pay a final dividend of 4p per share totake the full-year total to 8p, compared with 5p in 2012. Thefigure was adjusted to reflect a share reorganisation that tookplace in December.

Shares of Shore were up 10p or 2.8 percent by 0914 GMT.

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