Numis expects to pay out bumper bonuses

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The Independent Online

Christmas has come early at Numis, the investment bank and stockbroker. Pre-tax profits more than doubled to £30.6m this year, guaranteeing bumper bonuses for its 127 workers.

Numis pays out 30 per cent of operating profits each year in bonuses for every member of staff. That means an average payout this year would be around £145,000, although some employees can expect far more.

Revenues doubled to £65.7m this year amid a buoyant equity market at home, more smaller and medium-sized companies choosing to list their shares in London, and a growing number of corporate clients.

Oliver Hemsley, Numis's chief executive, said: "Earnings this year are coming through all the things we have done in past years." He said competition is hotting up for business from smaller companies as bigger brokers once again look to that area.

"We need to attract the very best people to compete with more established names, to make more people want to do business with us," Mr Hemsley said. "It's not rocket science, this business. It's not alchemy, it's hard work."

Numis raised a shade over £1bn for its 93 corporate clients this year, up from £388m in 2004. It was the biggest fundraiser on AIM, raising £785m for 26 clients.

Numis has £57.1m in cash, but Mr Hemsley said he is not on the look-out for an acquisition.

He also distanced himself from persistent speculation that Numis is itself being dressed up for a sale. He has received no approaches about an offer, he said.

Numis will pay a dividend of 3.15p a share, 50 per cent better then last time. The shares, which have jumped by almost 10 per cent since the end of October, edged 9 lower to 273.5p.

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