IFG profits better than expected

In spite of the negative effects of a regulatory review into its British operations, IFG managed to report better than expected pre-tax profits of €8.1m for 2003.

In spite of the negative effects of a regulatory review into its British operations, IFG managed to report better than expected pre-tax profits of €8.1m for 2003.

The previous year had seen the specialist financial services group post profits of €9.6 million on revenues of €89.0m.

Announcing the results, the group said that 2003 "saw a continued and successful focus on debt reduction and on increasing recurring income".

A large increase in volume saw IFG's Irish mortgage business reporting an 84% rise in operating profits to €2.08m.

Total basic earnings per share were 0.22c, compared to a per share loss of 51.87c last year. The recommended dividend is 1.57c per share which, when added to interim dividends already paid, makes a total of 2.30c, up 4.5% on 2002.

IFG's British pension release business, Berkeley Jacob,s has been under investigation for its sales and compliance procedures for the last year. Berkeley effectively ceased trading during the review and had a fine of €175,000 handed down in February. Both these factors had a negative impact on company profits.

IFG is setting aside €2.7m to cover this fine, a review of its business conducted over the last two years, and any potential redress resulting from this review.

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