March 13, 2018 / 7:36 AM / 6 months ago

UK lender Close Brothers reports higher first-half profit

(Reuters) - British lender Close Brothers Group (CBRO.L) reported a 6 percent rise in first-half adjusted operating profit, driven by strength in its banking division and higher investor trading activity at market maker Winterflood.

The merchant banking group, which provides loans and wealth management and securities trading services, said adjusted operating profit rose to 142.3 million pounds for the six months to Jan. 31 from 134.2 million pounds a year earlier.

Adjusted operating profit at Close Brothers’ banking division climbed 5 percent to 128.5 million pounds, while the loan book rose to 7 billion pounds from 6.9 billion pounds at the end of July.

Close Brothers said it had seen no significant change in trading conditions since the end of January and pointed to a “good result” for the full year 2018.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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