Cenkos, the stockbroker, argued on Thursday its lack of direct exposure to the subprime market, combined with a low fixed-cost base and remuneration packages skewed towards performance, put it in a “better position than most” to deal with any future uncertainty.

The remarks came as the Aim-listed broker reported a rise in pro forma pre-tax profits of 21 per cent.

John Hodson, chairman, said: “Over the last two months world stock markets have been significantly affected by the uncertainty caused by concerns over the US sub-prime market. Cenkos has no direct exposure to this market, however we cannot completely isolate ourselves from any fall-out this may cause.”

He added that “only time will tell” what longer term effects present instability will have on the markets in which it operates, but he added that the company had entered the second half with a “healthy pipeline” of transactions and was able to complete a number of these in the period since June 30.

Andy Stewart, chief executive of the company which floated last November, said: “At present the market is experiencing turbulent conditions.” However, he insisted the company had an “encouraging pipeline” and he was confident Cenkos could continue to grow revenues.

Pre-tax profits for the six months ended June 30 rose by £2m to £11.4m on revenues that were up 46 per cent to £28.4m. The figures were prepared as if all members of Cenkos had been employed by the group during the period to June 30.

Earnings per share of 11.2p compared with 14.2p the previous year.

The board declared an interim dividend of 10p. The shares rose 12¼p to 251½p.

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