Mon 29 Dec 2008
The Board of Panmure Gordon & Co. plc (“Panmure Gordon”) intends to publish results for the year ending 31 December 2008 on Tuesday 24 March 2009.
The Board is pleased with the progress that has been made. The Board expects to end the year with a cash balance of not less than £18 million, and available Group regulatory capital in excess of £25 million (against a regulatory capital requirement of £14 million). The Board is confident that the Group is in a strong position entering 2009.
Costs within the business continue to be controlled and reduced. For 2009 the costs of the UK business are now expected to be not more than £17.5 million. In the US the benefits of recent changes are becoming apparent, and pre-bonus operating costs for 2009 are now expected to be not more than $48 million with the current structure. The Group as a whole will enter 2009 with a pre-discretionary bonus cost run rate some £8m lower than costs in 2008 and we have the ability to hire exceptional staff where appropriate.
We continue to see good progress in institutional commission, particularly in the US, with strong commission growth year-on-year and industry leading loss ratios. In the UK we have gained market share and commission has held up well in difficult conditions. In recent weeks we have also begun to see some reasonable trans-Atlantic business and expect this to continue to grow.
The performance of our trading books in the UK since the start of October has reflected the difficult markets with losses of some £2m. These trading books, which are for client facilitation, have been substantially reduced in size in recognition of highly volatile markets. Exiting a number of small capitalisation illiquid positions has been expensive, but has generated cash.
Unsurprisingly investment banking income has been at historically low levels. Activity levels however have been high. The US investment banking pipeline has strengthened with private placements and M&A mandates and particularly strong activity levels in technology and alternative energy sectors. In the UK we are working on a number of sizeable transactions which we expect to be revenue producing in the first quarter of 2009 and which are not dependent on the IPO market.
Having repositioned the business in the US, reduced costs substantially, upgraded staff, and rebuilt an executable investment banking pipeline, the Board is optimistic of a satisfactory outcome for the US in 2009. The Board also expects a much improved performance in the UK reflecting the lowered cost structure, and investment banking mandates underway.
The restructuring costs, the difficult markets, the low level of investment banking revenue in the second half of the year and the recent losses on the UK trading book incurred in the last few weeks, will have an impact on the results for this year. All the restructuring costs will be taken in 2008. In addition to reducing costs the reorganisation will allow the Group to make the most of the opportunities provided in the current economic environment, and to adapt to the continuing changes we expect to see in 2009 and beyond.
The Board believes that the firm’s reputation for integrity, high quality advice, strong research and effective equity distribution, combined with its recognised brands in both the UK and the US are real strengths. While 2008 has been a difficult year, the Board believes that appropriate action has been taken to position the business for a successful 2009, with a strong start to the year.