February 25, 2010 / 7:56 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-London Capital profit falls, not to pay final dividend

* Says will not pay final dividend

* Says CEO Chapman to step down; FD Denham to replace

* Says confident of meeting market view for 2010

* Sees impairment of 3.2 mln pounds in 2010

* Shares down 6.3 pct (Adds CEO comments, share movement)

By Kumar Alagappan

BANGALORE, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Financial services firm London Capital Group Holdings Plc LCG.L reported a 46 percent fall in full-year pretax profit due to unfavourable markets, lower interest income and increased costs, and said it will not pay a final dividend.

The company, which offers online spread betting, foreign exchange and broking services, also said Frank Chapman will step down from his current role of chief executive before the annual general meeting in April, and would be replaced by Finance Director Simon Denham.

London Capital said it was not paying a final dividend as its regulatory capital requirements had risen and it expected the Financial Services Authority to demand more capital from financial institutions in the future.

“So we are just basically hanging on to our cash to protect that position,” Chief Executive Chapman told Reuters.

London Capital also said it was confident of meeting the analysts’ expectations of a pretax profit of 6.5 million pounds and revenue of 30 million pounds for the year 2010.

“Everything so far looking good for this year. We have had a good start and we are confident of meeting those expectations,” CEO Chapman said.

London Capital said trading in the start of 2010 had been robust, with all its divisions trading well. It had 10 million pounds ($15.36 million) cash at the end of the year to Dec. 31, with no external debt, and was “well placed to manage its liquidity and financial risks despite uncertainty in the economic climate.” The company reported a pretax profit of 5.8 million pounds for the year ended Dec.31, compared with 10.9 million pounds a year earlier.

Adjusted pretax profit, excluding share-based payments, declined 49 percent to 6 million pounds, London Capital said.

London Capital’s full-year revenue dropped 4 percent to 27.6 million pounds.

The company said it sees an impairment of 3.2 million pounds in relation to its software assets, which will be recognised as an expense in 2010.

London Capital shares were down 6.3 percent at 120 pence at 1324 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. ($1=.6511 Pound) (Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)

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