Bristol-based IFA network Burns Anderson has recorded a pre-tax profit for the first time in six years.
The firm's results show pre-tax profits of £285, 241 at December 31, 2003 following a £194,957 loss at the end of 2002.
Although group turnover fell by 3.4 per cent to £29.8m from £30.8m, group gross profit is up by 4.6 per cent to £3.8m from £3.7m.
The results show a turn-round for a business that had a “going concern uncertainty” in its accounts in 2001 and reported a capital deficit to the FSA in 2002.
Burns Anderson has been an acquisition target for at least two years, with numerous suitors. A deal with the Tenet Group collapsed in December 2003 following six months of negotiations.
The group says it intends to concentrate on increasing adviser numbers. The membership has declined from 550 advisers to around 400 in the network part of the business. It will also be investing more money in the mortgage and general insurance arms of the business.
Finance director Peter Coleman says: “This return to profits provides financial stability not enjoyed at the network for several years and permits the management team to invest in new services.”
Durlacher analyst David Pannell says: “This business has been through a period of reconstruction but the market is definitely picking up and things are looking better. I think that acquisitions will remain the main way for IFAs to drive profits.”