Pretax profit dips at IFG but sales rise at key units

Company has sold off five businesses including its Irish pension and advisory division

Pretax profit fell at IFG last year, but the company strengthened its balance sheet as it focused on the UK wealth platform and high-net-worth advice market.

The company has been undergoing a transformation in recent years, selling off five businesses. Among the divestments was its Irish pension and advisory business.

Profit from continuing operations fell to £4.6 million from £5 million a year earlier. Adjusted operating profit was hit by incremental investment and lower interest on client funds in 2014, falling to £7.9 million compared with £9.2 million in the previous year.

At year end, assets under advice and administration rose 9 per cent to £20.1 billion, with James Hay accounting for £16.4 billion. New SIPP sales at the unit rose 24 per cent to 6,303.

Saunderson House, meanwhile, added 247 new clients during the year, and revenue rose by 18 per cent. Assets under advice grew 16 per cent to £3.7 billion at year end.

However, net cash rose to £22.7 million, up from £17 million in 2013. The company generated £19.8 million from the sale of its businesses during the year.

“2014 marked a fundamental transformation of IFG Group as we exited non-core businesses and continued to invest for growth in James Hay and Saunderson House,” said chief executive Paul McNamara. “We are strongly positioned with two profitable businesses in attractive markets and a strong liquid balance sheet to support further growth and investment.”

Mr McNamara said the firm expected “meaningful growth” in group profitability in 2015.