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Close Brothers Expects FY20 Costs To Continue To Grow Ahead Of Income

Close Brothers Group plc (CBG.L), a merchant banking group, reported that banking net interest margin for the five months to December 31, 2019 was 7.8 percent, broadly stable on the 2019 financial year's 7.9 percent.

The company said it continues to invest in strategic initiatives to protect and grow business and remain committed to maintaining this long-term investment through the current period of lower activity. As a result, costs are expected to continue to grow ahead of income in the current year.

In its pre-close trading update, the company said its performance year to date reflects the disciplined application of proven and resilient business model and lower activity levels in a difficult UK economic environment.

In the Banking division, loan book remained broadly flat in the period, increasing 0.4 percent to 7.68 billion pounds from the 7.65 billion pounds as of July 31, 2019. The company recorded a modest growth in Commercial offset by a slight decline in Property, while Retail remained broadly flat.

The Asset Management division continued to deliver strong net inflows, consistent with growth strategy and investment in this business.

Managed assets grew to 12.6 billion pounds at December 31, 2019 from 11.7 billion pounds at July 31.

Looking ahead, the company said that there remains uncertainty about the economic outlook for the UK, but it is well positioned to continue supporting customers and clients in a wide range of market conditions.

Close Brothers will release its half year results for the six months ending January 31 on March 10.

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