City round-up: Rathbones Group; BAE Systems; Together Financial
Pre-tax profits more than doubled last year at Rathbones as the investment group maintained the momentum in its growth strategy.
It generated £95m in profits and demonstrated its confidence by increasing its dividend by 9p to 81p. Total funds under management and advice increased by 25% to £68.2bn in the year.
Rathbones’ group chief executive Paul Stockton said: “This financial outcome gives us a strong platform to enter the next phase of our strategy which will further leverage technology to deliver a holistic digital experience to clients, advisers and colleagues, and harness efficiency opportunities.”
The business was founded in Liverpool where it still has a large team in the Port of Liverpool building, and rebranded from Rathbone Brothers at the end of last year as part of a number of changes across the business.
Stockton said: “We set out our focused strategy over two years ago and it has driven some considerable and positive changes within the business over that period.
“It is clear from the results we are publishing today that Rathbones is building strong organic growth momentum, complemented by value-added acquisitions.”
BAE Systems increased profits by 32% last year, as the defence giant revealed “strong results” for 2021.
Profits grew to £2.1bn, with improvements in all six of its divisions. Its most profitable division, Air, contributed £930m to operating profits.
The manufacturer employs 13,000 people in its UK Air sector, with significant numbers at Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire.
Sales were up £0.4bn to £21.3bn, a 5% increase on a constant currency basis.
BAE Systems’ chief executive Charles Woodburn said: “We are continuing to evolve our business, increasing our investments in advanced technologies to deliver differentiated solutions to meet our customers’ priorities.
“Our diverse portfolio, together with our focus on programme execution, cash generation and efficiencies, is helping us to navigate the challenging operating environment, meaning we are well positioned for sustained top line and margin growth in the coming years.”
Mortgage and specialist loan provider Together Financial Services believes it is “well placed to help increasing numbers of customers” despite concerns about the impact of rising inflation and higher interest rates on consumers.
The Cheadle-based company saw “sustained growth” during the final quarter of 2021, with its loan book up 14% on a year earlier, at £4.4bn.
Gerald Grimes, group chief executive-designate of Together, said: “Our average monthly lending volumes increased by 11.7% on Q1 to £200m, with originations in November and December exceeding £200m and rising above pre-pandemic levels.
“In line with our growth strategy, we have raised or refinanced £900m across 3 transactions since September, adding to the diversity and maturity of our funding structure. Most recently, in December we refinanced and doubled the size of our Delta ABS facility for unregulated bridging loans from £200m to £400m.”