Possible dividends at Fitch for shareholders

Fitch may pay its first dividend to shareholders for more than five years next April. Chairman and chief executive Martin Beck, commenting on the publicly-quoted group’s half-year results, says continued profitability will put the board in a position to p

Fitch may pay its first dividend to shareholders for more than five years next April.

Chairman and chief executive Martin Beck, commenting on the publicly-quoted group’s half-year results, says continued profitability will put the board in a position to pay dividends, which “is very much our intention”.

The possibility of such a payment next April signifies the confidence emanating from Fitch. The latest set of results, for the six months to the end of June, underlines and continues the progress of the past two years.

Fitch’s US offices continued to contribute the lion’s share of turnover, 7.45m out of the 9.95m total which itself is up 29 per cent on the same period in 1995.

But pre-tax profits from the UK office leapt 89 per cent from 275 000 in 1995 to 520 000 in 1996. This forms almost half of the overall pre-tax profit of 1.14m, itself a 39 per cent increase on the same period last year.

However, the US contribution to pre-tax profit was held back by the start-up costs of the fledgling San Francisco office.

Beck praises the “continuing improvement” of the UK arm, saying it had “a particularly good half year” with almost half its business coming from new clients.

He adds: “With strong growth in sales and further gains in productivity and efficiency, the repositioning of the business has continued to show substantial benefits.”

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