First half profits down by nearly 80%

Shares in THB Group fell this week as the broker issued a profits warning following the collapse of its acquisition talks with PWS and reported first half profits down by nearly 80%.

It also announced the launch of an underwriting division, Unicorn. The division will initially focus on bloodstock.

The company’s share price fell by over 33% from 88.5p this week, as it announced that it would fail to hit analysts’ profit forecasts for 2007.

This follows failed acquisition talks with PWS Holdings.

It said the professional costs of the negotiations, which collapsed last week, would be £1m.

THB also reported pre-tax profits of £0.32m for the six months to 31 October 2007, down 77% from £1.4m in the same period last year. Fee and commission income fell 7% to £12.9 in the first half of 2007.

The broker blamed the disappointing performance on the weakness of the US dollar, the soft market and a benign Atlantic hurricane season.

As Insurance Times went to press THB shares were trading at 58.5p.