Source - SMW
Close Brothers reported a decline in first half profits amid 'difficult market conditions' in its asset management and brokerage arm. 

For the 6 months ended 31 January, operating profits fell 3% to £135.6m. 

The company blamed the weakness on 'the difficult market environment for our market facing businesses, Asset Management and Winterflood.' 

Winterflood, the group's market-making business, saw operating profit plunge 37% top £9.3m as lower trading volumes weighed.  

The asset management division adjusted operating profit fell 5% to £10.8m for the half year.

First-half net interest margin slipped to 8.1%, from 8.2% a year earlier. 

The loan book grew by 2.0% to £7.4bn, up 6.3% year on year, driven by 'good new business volumes across the group's commercial and premium finance businesses, while its motor finance and property loan books contracted slightly,' the company said. 

The CET1 ratio increased to 13.0%. 

The company declared an interim dividend per share of 22.0p, up 5% year on year. 

At 8:19am: (LON:CBG) Close Brothers Group PLC share price was +7p at 1477p