Profit growth ups IFG shares

Shares in Irish financial services group IFG jumped by over 5% yesterday on the back of strong profit growth for 2011 and reaching agreement to sell its overseas division for €84m.

Earlier this month IFG announced it had received an expression of interest in its international corporate trustee services division. Yesterday it updated that it had reached agreement for the £70m (€84m) sale of the division to London-based specialist private equity house AnaCap Financial Partners. Shareholders will vote on the deal on June 27.

That news coincided with the publication of IFG’s annual results for 2011, which showed a near £7.5m increase in pre-tax profits to £10.16m. Operating profit rose from £3.8m in 2010, to £12.2m last year and group revenue was up by over £7m at £110.8m.

Net debt was reduced from £12.7m to £9.1m during the year. IFG’s chief executive Mark Bourke said the proceeds from the sale of the international division — which he added represented “an excellent price for a valuable business” — could cover a number of bases, including further debt repayment, shareholder return and strategic investment into its SIPP (self-invested personal pensions) and advisory businesses.

The group’s financial performance last year represented “an eventful year of significant business progress and corporate activity,” according to Mr Bourke.


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