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Lighthouse posts small profit and reveals “very few” acquisition opportunities

Lighthouse Group has revealed pre-tax profits of £93,000 for 2009 compared to losses of £8,494,000 the previous year.

The results, published today, show Earnings Before Interest, Tax and Depreciation nearly doubling, from £553,000 to £1.1m.

Revenues and gross profits both rose 12 per cent but on a like for like basis, allowing for the effects of the Sumus merger in May 2008 and LighthouseGP acquisition in January 2009, gross profits were down 6 per cent and revenues 10 per cent.

The group has £13.4m in the bank, an increase of £1.1m, with no bank debt. But it says although it has been actively reviewing acquisitions, “very few” have been acceptable from a risk or valuation viewpoint.

Lighthouse says around 20 per cent of its advisers have the qualifications required by the retail distribution review with another 60 per cent in the middle of training up to the required QCF Level 4 qualification.

Executive chairman David Hickey says: “The Board is pleased with the Group’s strong performance during the year, against a challenging economic backdrop.  In particular, we have improved profitability and added to our already significant cash resources.

“With some two thirds of retail financial products passing through the IFA channel, the sector continues to have both scale and critical importance. Within the sector however it remains difficult to see how the majority of small firms will be able to embrace increased regulatory scrutiny and secure access to manufactured products on an economic basis, all the while providing a consistent and professional service to clients. Larger firms such as Lighthouse are consequently expected to gain distribution market share.”

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