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Helm Godfrey reveals profit drop and acquisition talks

Helm Godfrey has reported a 41 per cent drop in pre-tax profits from £507,000 to £335,000 for the first half of the year and revealed it is in acquisition talks with three adviser firms.

Despite posting lower interim profits, Helm Godfrey managing director Bruce Wilson remains encouraged by the company’s performance in light of the current economic climate.

He says: “Despite experiencing some of the worst economic conditions we have ever seen as a business our first half figures have held up extremely well. The first six months of last year were really boosted by the pensions business with a lot of people putting the maximum amount into their Sipps. That did not happen in the second half of the year and has not happened to anywhere near the same extent this year.”

Wilson says that pensions will continue to be the main driver for Helm Godfrey but suggests that going forward there will be a greater focus on other specialisms such as inheritance tax.

Wilson says the firm is currently in discussions about acquiring three firms, but says: “IFAs are quite expensive at the moment and we’ve turned ourselves down from some of the businesses because we’re not prepared to pay the price they’re asking for at the moment. I think there will be bargains to be had but it’s not happening yet.”

Wilson insists that the key focus of the business will remain on profitability rather than turnover. He intends to grow the fee-based wealth management business and expand the employee benefits offering further in the second half of the year.

He also says the £2.2m cash at bank publicly disclosed in the interim results will be reinvested in the business to bolster training and support future acquisitions.

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