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BBB cuts its losses and lifts revenue

Berkeley Berry Birch could break even next year after the group cut its losses to £4.9m in the year to March 31 compared with a loss of £7.1m in the same period last year.

Its preliminary results show that the group&#39s revenues rose from £53.7m to £66.5m, with its financial advisory, insurance and network divisions all boosting turnover by between 10 per cent and 90 per cent. Productivity per adviser rose from £78,000 to £84,000.

Analysts believe the business, with £11m in balance sheet cash, has enough money to break even next year, particularly as the overhead cost base – estimated at £19.5m – is “under control”. They also expect the number of employees to remain stable after BBB increased its advisers during the year from 750 to 825.

Gross margins increased from 21 per cent to 26.4 per cent although analysts warn that this could come under pressure due to economic uncertainty and depolarisation.

BBB is under investigation by the FSA, which is looking into the circumstances surrounding the group&#39s liquidation of subsidiary Berry Birch & Noble.

Executive chairman and group chief executive Clifford Lockyer says: “The group has had to undertake significant challenges thrust upon it by the economic environment. We have a sound financial and structural platform and we will continue to build on this.”

Durlacher analyst David Pannell says: “The most pleasant news was that the business has been profitable for the last four months and cash-generative for the last nine months.”

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