No one could accuse Sir David Howard, the chairman of the stockbroker Charles Stanley, of being over the top.
Sir David admitted that he looks to the coming year "with a touch more optimism than a year ago". But he warns: "Gravity can't be defied for ever. This continues to overhang the markets, with a continuing flow of worsening news about black holes in the banks, near to nil growth and public deficits which stubbornly refuse to come down."
The broker's pre-tax profit rose 8 per cent to £13.5m last year as funds under management gained 15 per cent to £17.7m. Sir David concluded: "So far, the new year uptick [in markets] is stronger than one might expect. There is a sense of things moving forward once again."
Shares in Charles Stanley jumped 11.5p to 397.625p.Reuse content