W.H. Ireland Group PLC
23 April 2001
Statement for the Chairman at the Annual General Meeting
As reported in my Chairman's Statement, since the year end, the Group has
continued to expand, most noticeably with the employment of an institutional
sales and research team and additions to the investment management team. The
move to larger London premises took place on Monday 12th March and discussions
continue with regard to the opening of additional regional offices. In addition,
discussions are also at an advanced stage with regard to the acquisition of a
team of private client advisers.
Trading conditions across the industry in the first quarter of our financial
year have been difficult and March saw a continuation of this trend. Despite
interest rate cuts, levels of activity in the immediate future are likely to
remain lower than the corresponding period of last year and profitability in the
core stockbroking activity in the first six months of the year will inevitably
be significantly lower than last year.
However, the pipeline of corporate issues in hand remains busy and we continue
to receive enquiries from companies, both UK and overseas, looking to move to
the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange. In particular,
the establishment of our joint venture in Sydney Australia has generated a
constant stream of enquiry.
Our balance sheet remains strong with net assets in excess of £4.6m at the year
end, excluding the value of our investment in the London Stock Exchange which
today is valued at £2.8m. Our financial base and current developments give me
further confidence for the future.
Sir David Trippier RD JP DL MSI
23rd April, 2001