The dearth of SMEs raising money in the London markets last year wiped out four-fifths of profits at broker Cenkos Securities.
Reporting results for 2016, Cenkos said revenues were down 43 per cent to £44m and pre-tax profits had fallen 78 per cent to £4.4m. The final dividend is 5p, slashing the full year total by 57 per cent to 6p. Administrative expenses fell by a third as bonuses were cut.
Chief executive Jim Durkin the fall in revenues was “on the back of lower equity fundraisings for our corporate clients in first half of 2016″.
He said the company’s “current pipeline is encouraging” and that “there continues to be good institutional demand to fund high quality companies and ideas”.
The company said that excluding one big deal in 2015, the fall in revenues was 12 per cent and reflects “quieter equity markets”.
There was widespread uncertainty last year because of the EU referendum, both in the run up to the vote and in the aftermath of the result.
“Against the backdrop of the Brexit vote and wider European macro-economic uncertainty, total funds raised by AIM companies fell by 13 per cent,” said Mr Durkin.
Pressure on secondary commissions “shows no sign of relenting”, including from EU rules that require equity research to be paid for separately, but Cenkos said the impact on it would be “modest” since this was not a major income stream and because its clients would still be prepared to pay for good research.
Earlier this week the FT reported that IPO volumes in London so far this year were flat compared with the same period last year, and had fallen sharply as a proportion of the global total.
Meanwhile Numis, another City broker, said on Friday that income would be “moderately” lower for the second half of its financial year. It said it was “not immune” to a “paucity of primary equity issuance in the UK market as a whole and the increase in M&A activity has yet to fully benefit our top line.”
Cenkos shares fell 1.6 per cent, taking their fall to 33 per cent over the past year.
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