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Close Brothers Group

Close Brothers hints at a muted recovery; profits will match forecasts

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Mini merchant bank Close Brothers (LOM:CBG) said its bad debts edged down and reported growth in its loan book as it said full-year results would meet City forecasts.

"The bad debt ratio improved marginally during the five months to 30 June 2010 although remains sensitive to the economic environment," the company said in a trading statement.

"The group remains confident that it will deliver a solid overall performance for the 2010 full financial year," it added.

The company’s loan book has expanded £300 million to £2.9 billion since January, while the performance of its asset management business was subdued with the funds under management static at £7.3 billion in that seven month period.

"The investment spend in support of the private clients growth initiative continues, which will also lead to a further negative impact on the (asset management) division's result in the next financial year," it added.

The firm, which also owns the City market maker Winterflood Securities, told investors that its securities division performed well in a difficult market.

Close Brothers issues its full-year results on September 28.

Quick facts: Close Brothers Group

Price: £13.90

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £2.1 billion
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