Charles Stanley tipped for solid 2013

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STOCKBROKER Charles Stanley yesterday said it was benefiting from improving market conditions and was optimistic about prospects for 2013.

The firm, which has a base in Edinburgh, also reported a 4.6 per cent increase in assets under management to £16.4 billion for the third quarter of its financial year.

Revenues for the three months to 31 December rose 13.5 per cent to £31.1 million, with the strong performance attributed to comparisons with a “very poor quarter” a year ago when economic uncertainty led to a drop in investor activity.

Chairman Sir David Howard said: “Since the downturn in the period from September to December 2011, transaction volumes have now stabilised.”

The improvement occurred across all divisions, with financial services posting a rise of 14.8 per cent and its Charles Stanley Securities stockbroking division an increase of 16.2 per cent compared with the same quarter a year earlier.

Although economic and market conditions are expected to remain uncertain the company said it was confident of continued progress.

Mark Williamson, an analyst at Peel Hunt, said the update “provided the first evidence that the recovery being seen in markets is having a positive impact on commissions”.

He has upgraded his forecasts and said he sees scope for Charles Stanley to be an “outstanding performer in 2013” as it is well geared to benefit from improving market conditions.

Canaccord Genuity reiterated its “buy” recommendation, with a price target of 370p. The shares rose 8p to 337p.