Gartmore looking for 64% advance this year

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The Independent Online
A 64 PER CENT increase in profit this year to at least pounds 24.5m was forecast yesterday by Gartmore, the investment management group that is about to be floated through a placing with institutions.

This excludes non-recurring and exceptional items that drove it into a pre-tax loss last year, but which were mainly due to changes in the way it was financed by its parent, Banque Indosuez of France. With a new capital structure most of the special items have disappeared.

Paul Myners, chairman, said that at least 70 directors and senior executives of the company would be buying shares at the flotation price, which the City expects to value the group at up to pounds 300m.

They would use the pounds 8m proceeds of exercising options now held in a scheme set up with Indosuez.

Directors would not get special contract terms for the float. 'The contracts are the same as four years ago,' he said. 'We are not playing that stupid game of reducing them to less than one year.' He was referring to rules that allow directors to keep contracts of under a year secret.

Indosuez will hold its stake at 75 per cent for at least a year. Gartmore says its notional full- year dividend for this year will be 4p, twice covered. Pricing will be on 4 November.