Irish unit helps boost IFG profits

An improved performance by its Irish operations helped boost total group revenue at IFG by 4.6% last year, with pre-tax profits rising by over 3%.

The Dublin-based financial services group — whose core business is conducted in the UK — yesterday reported better-than-expected annual revenues for 2013 of £79.6m (€96.2m); up from £76.2m the previous year. Operating profit was down from £6.2m to £4.6m, but the pension and financial advisory provider’s pre-tax profits jumped by 3.2% to £4.19m, while profit after tax from continuing operations was up by 49% at £3.6m.

In the UK — where IFG delivered first-time net growth from its James Hay SIPP (self-invested personal pensions) business — revenue was up by 2.6% to £63.3m; while in Ireland sales were up by over 13% to £16.32m, as operating losses were slashed by over 60% to £1.31m.

“We are building a core business in Ireland, which specialises in financial advisory and the administration of, predominantly, pension assets. Whilst market conditions remain challenging, there are signs of economic recovery and our core businesses are now well-positioned to pursue market opportunities,” management said.

While IFG saw strong new business gains in both its James Hay business and its Saunderson House financial advisory division, management aims to expand its UK business from being solely focused on specialist SIPP products to offering a broader capability in retirement investments.

Outgoing group chief executive, Mark Bourke — who is due to take up the role of finance director at AIB at the end of next month — called IFG’s 2013 showing “a solid financial performance”, adding that the group’s new business momentum has been maintained into this year.

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