MERCHANT bank Quayle Munro yesterday warned that a quiet deals market was likely to mean revenues this year would fall short of the record performance achieved in 2011.
The prediction came as the company, which advised Virgin on its acquisition of Northern Rock, also announced that Andrew Adams had been promoted to chief executive following Andrew Tuckey’s decision to step down from the post – together with his role as executive chairman – at the upcoming AGM.
Tuckey, who has been chief executive since 2009, admitted that the six months to 31 December “had not been an easy period” for the bank.
He said the group had to contend with a subdued market for corporative activity and “generally depressed economic conditions”, particularly in Europe.
Tuckey added: “Taking into account the difficult environment in which we operate at present, I regard the group result for the half year as a creditable outcome.”
Pre-tax losses narrowed to £390,000 compared with £496,000 in the same period in 2010 on turnover of £5 million, a 6 per cent fall year-on-year. Shareholders will receive an interim dividend of 11p per share, up from 10p.
During the period, Quayle Munro’s advisory business closed deals including the sale of Doctors.net to a Japanese company and the acquisition of a wind farm near Cambridge by Barclays Infrastructure Funds.
The group’s investments include English housebuilder Morris Homes, which Quayle Munro said had traded satisfactorily. Its smaller investments include Scottish ski resort operation Nevis Range where it said a lack of snow so far this winter means it may not match last year’s visitor numbers. The bank also owns a stake in Dundee-based medical group Vascular Flow Technologies.
Tuckey said that – after two record years and taking account of current market conditions and the difficulty in anticipating the timing of deal completions – he thought it “unlikely our revenues for the current year will match those of last year”.
But he said the company was busy in both its London and Edinburgh offices.
“With a good pipeline of new business and a strong and dedicated team in both our offices, we expect a satisfactory result for the full year.”
South Africa-born Adams joined the group four years ago when it acquired corporate finance boutique van Tulleken, which had offices in London and New York. He currently heads up the London office and his career has included roles as chief operating officer of US photography group Vivitar Corporation.
Although Tuckey will resign at the AGM he said he would remain with the group as a senior adviser. The company is now looking for a non-executive chairman.
Shares in Quayle Munro, which was founded in 1983 and listed ten years later, closed unchanged at 600p.
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