IFG upbeat despite slide into the red
Irish-founded financial services group IFG has expressed confidence in seeing a marked financial improvement next year after restructuring and legal costs dragged it into the red in the first half of this year.
The specialist pensions and financial advisory group — which sold its Irish operations in 2014 to focus solely on the UK market — issued a profit warning last month and yesterday reported an operating loss of £100,000 (€108,000) for the six months to the end of June — down from a profit of £4m for the same period last year.
IFG incurred exceptional costs of £2.7m relating to legal and remediation costs connected to a probe into an investment scheme sold to clients of its James Hay specialist pension unit.
The group is in talks with the UK’s revenue service on the matter but has warned that uncertainty as to the timing of a conclusion could weigh on full-year earnings.
However, both the James Hay and Saunderson House financial advisory arm saw strong new client activity in the first half. “Both businesses are delivering strong growth in clients and assets.
“Whilst short-term financial performance is being impacted by the low interest rate environment, restructuring costs and the resolution of legacy issues, we expect a much improved second half underlying performance — particularly in James Hay, as the effects of repricing and restructuring start to bear fruit,” said IFG chief executive James Cotter. “We are confident that both businesses are on a strong growth trajectory and that the underlying performance will translate into a much improved financial performance in 2018.”