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Dividend Rises 4% at Close Brothers

LONDON -- Close Brothers Group (LSE: CBG.L  ) , the leading specialist financial services group, released its preliminary results for the year to 31 July 2012 this morning. Adjusted operating profits rose 2%, to 134.2 million pounds, and adjusted basic earnings per share increased 4% to 67.3 pence.

Underneath the headline results was something of a mixed bag. While adjusted operating profit in the banking division increased 27% to 135 million pounds, difficult market conditions saw it plummet 55% in the securities division, falling to 24.5 million pounds. Continued restructuring saw asset management record a small adjusted operating loss of 4.3 million pounds.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Preben Prebensen said:

We have achieved a solid overall performance as we continue to focus on executing our strategy and maximising the opportunity for each of our businesses in the current market environment. Banking continued to grow strongly while Securities has been affected by difficult trading conditions. Asset Management has substantially completed its restructuring and is now positioned for future profitability.

Looking forward, our strong balance sheet and the market positions of our businesses leave us well positioned for the current financial year.

There will be a 1.0 pence increase in the final dividend, at 27.5 pence, giving a full-year dividend of 41.5 pence per share, up 4% on 2011.

Right now, Close Brothers yields a healthy 4.6% dividend, estimated to rise to over 5% for 2013. Reinvestment of dividend income can give a massive boost to your portfolio's performance.

Indeed, ace stock-picker Neil Woodford's income-yielding selections delivered an impressive 347% total return -- and thrashed the wider market -- during the 15 years to 31 December 2011.

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Jon doesn't own shares in Close Brothers.

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