Profits up by half at regional investor

X The Business Desk

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Investment group Mercia increased its profits by more than 50% last year as the business prepares itself for its “next stage of growth”.

The Henley-in-Arden-based business specialises in investing in companies based in the regions, through a mix of managing third-party funds, direct investments, and developing a network of university partnerships.

Mercia has also rebranded to reflect an evolution in its business – changing from Mercia Technologies to Mercia Asset Management.

The company says the name change represents “the evolution of the Group’s core competencies as a proactive, regionally focused specialist asset manager”.

Preliminary results for the year to March show revenues were up 5% to £10.7m.

Mercia Asset Management invested £19.4m into 17 portfolio companies during the year including two new direct investments, W2 Global Data Solutions and Locate Bio.

Its Net fair value increased to £3.9m (2018: £2.8m) and its direct investment portfolio increased to £87.7m (2018: £66.1m)

Investements highlights included a £6.5m syndicated investment into Oxford Genetics and it says there was significant commercial progress made by a number of portfolio companies including nDreams, the Group’s largest direct investment. nDreams also announced its partnership with global technology company Oculus; developing its first title Phantom.

“These results mark the acceleration of Mercia’s evolution towards becoming a profitable, proactive and regionally focused specialist asset manager. Across our four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital, we recorded our strongest level of deal completions and investments to date,” said Mark Payton, Chief Executive Officer of Mercia.

“We remain focused on progressing the top balance sheet direct investments and the pace and scale at which these are being developed.

“Since 2014 funds under management have grown from c.£22m to c.£381m, highlighting our track record and ongoing commitment to delivering balance sheet and fund value.

“With over £500m of assets under management, we are well resourced and have the team in place for our next stage of growth.”

The company has appointed Ian Metcalfe, Mercia’s Senior Independent Director, as a Non-executive Chair and will appoint an additional Non-executive Director with specialist asset management experience later this year.