Specialist pensions arm drives IFG profits

Financial services group IFG has said it is well-positioned to build on a strong year which saw group revenues beat market expectations.

Specialist pensions arm drives IFG profits

The Dublin-headquartered pensions specialist — now wholly focused on the UK after selling its Irish non-core operations — yesterday reported annual revenues of £71.3m (€90.3m) for 2015.

This figure was up 7% on the previous year and was 2% ahead of analyst forecasts. Operating profits — before exceptional items — rose 49% to £9.8m, which also marginally beat expectations.

Pre-tax profits were up 86% at £8.6m.

IFG’s performance was driven by its James Hay specialist pensions business, where revenues grew by nearly 20% to £43.8m and profits doubled to £8m.

James Hay’s revenues beat market estimates by 10%.

The Saunderson House financial advisory business increased client numbers by 243 to more than 1,800 and grew revenues by £3m to £27.5m.

A total dividend of 4.44p — up 10% — has been declared for 2015.

Group CEO Paul McNamara said management is upbeat about prospects.

“IFG has a very clear strategic focus, especially now the group restructuring is complete,” said Mr McNamara.

“We have two quality businesses with distinctive propositions in markets where we see continued growth opportunities.

"We have the capability and resources to meet the evolving needs of our clients, to sustain profitable growth and deliver long-term shareholder value.”

Adjusted earnings per share rose 51% last year and the group’s balance sheet was boosted with net cash of £27.3m.

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