Gathering clouds

The publication of its interim results by Helios triggered a 9% fall in the share price: despite improvements in forecasts for both open years of account, 2012 and 2013, and two good acquisitions, interim profits were lower than last year. It is now priced at an 18% discount to NAV while remaining profitable (the classic definition of a “buy”) which is why it remains one of our preferred routes into Lloyd’s.
S&U benefits with lower defaults (“higher loan quality”) because fewer of their customers or, more particularly, husbands of their home-service customers, have been made redundant when their employer has closed down. First half profits, which also benefited from strong growth in sub-prime lending for buying second-hand cars, jumped 28% to £11.3m.
Miton’s results showed “adjusted profits” (which in this case are closer to reality than IFRS) jumping 89% and adjusted eps rose 58%. AUM of £2.6bn means that the loss of Bill Mott is painful, but less than crippling since pre-exceptional profit margins of 16.4% can cope with the loss of a mandate that reduces gross income by 7.2%.