Shares of Numis soared in early trading after the investment bank and broker announced full year profits more than tripled as trading and commissions picked up.
Pre-tax profits climbed from £7.7 million to £25 million, the company said in a statement.
“Things have definitely picked up,” said chief executive Oliver Hemsley. “Companies are becoming more confident again and that will result in more merger and acquisition activity.
“At the same time we have won a lot of initial public offering activity with more companies planning to come to market.”
Revenues for the year to end-September rose by 55 per cent to £77.7 million. And the firm’s 188 staff (who collectively still own half the business) got in on the act with the total wage bill rising £9.5 million to £29.6 million which is almost entirely thanks to much better bonuses.
Numis helped to bring a raft of companies to the stock market including Foxtons, esure, Crest Nicholson and HellermannTyton.
It also accounted for the one third of the funds raised in the relatively new retail bond market. It gained 28 new coporate clients taking the total to 156 and is now ranked number three in the FTSE 250 market.
Hemsley reckoned the short and medium-term outlook was good. “Institutional investors are definitely seeing increasing flows of money which is good for the IPO market. Companies’ balance sheets are strengthening which is positive for the M&A market. It is all looking relatievly benign,” he said.
Numis raised its dividend for the year from 8p to 9p and the shares rose 20.5p to a record 310p.