Source - Alliance News

STM Group PLC on Tuesday reported a higher annual profit and revenue but opted to lower its dividend, citing exceptional costs in the first half of 2023.

The London-based cross border financial services provider said pretax profit in 2022 was £1.6 million, up 32% from £1.2 million in 2021. Revenue grew 7.8% to £24.1 million from £22.4 million. The company had no impairment of goodwill, compared to £798,000 a year prior. Administrative expenses increased 6.4% to £20.8 million from £19.5 million.

Chief Executive Officer Alan Kentish said: ‘These results demonstrate the solid underlying performance of our business, in a market which continues to evolve and present opportunities for an independent such as STM.’

Noting ‘exceptional costs in the first half of 2023,’ STM decided to lower its final dividend by 33% to 0.60 pence per share from 0.90p a year ago. This brings the total dividend for 2022 to 1.2p per share, down 20% from 1.5p.

The company explained that 2023 ‘will undoubtedly be a year of significant change for STM, as we look to re-shape the group and conclude on some material items around how we operate,’ regarding the exceptional costs.

Looking ahead, CEO Kentish said: ‘The UK pensions market remains buoyant and there is significant consolidation activity in the sector, as private equity-backed investment platforms seek to build assets under management on their platforms. The result is a shrinking pool of independent pension providers such as STM.’

STM shares fell 2.7% to 25.30 pence each on Tuesday afternoon in London.

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