ABG is delivering the strong profit and franchise growth that had been promised, with underlying profits rising from £3.2m in 1H’17 to £4.2m in 1H’18. We now forecast 2019 adjusted pre-tax profits of £15m (statutory £13m) against £7.6m in 2017 (statutory £7m). Loans and deposits were both up 25% on 1H’17, driving a 25% increase in income. Costs rose 24%, with heavy investment in new business lines, in addition to volume-related cost growth. Impairments fell. The group is well funded (loans £1.1bn vs. deposits £1.5bn), strongly capitalised (Tier 1 ratio over 15%) and clearly attractive to new teams bringing incremental skills.
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