Advising major pub operators on high profile acquisitions and sales contributed a large amount to licensed property agent Christie & Co's parent company Christie Group's good interim results.
The group reported "solid progress" in the first half of 2001 to June 30. Compared with the first half of 2000, group turnover increased by 15 per cent, and losses in the company's hospitality software business and start-up costs were halved.
Operating profit, before goodwill amortisation, increased 110 per cent to £730,000.
The group is divided into two divisions. The professional business services division, which includes Christie & Co, and the information systems and services division.
The professional business services division achieved a turnover of £12.1m in the first half of the year - an increase on last year's turnover of £11m. Operating profit was £620,000. It increased by 22 per cent - up from £510,000 last year.
Christie & Co was involved in "significant transactions" which included advising Noble House on the acquisition of the managed houses it bought from Scottish & Newcastle.
It also advised Nomura on the acquisition of 988 pubs from Bass and was involved in revaluing Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries for the document it issued in defence of Pubmaster's failed hostile bid in July.
A number of further pub disposal programmes have already been launched which indicates increased activity for the group in the second half of the year.
Another important feature for the professional business services division in the first half of this year was the rebranding of its financial services.
RCC Business Mortgages and RCC Insurance Brokers were rebranded to Christie First. The company believes the move will lead to wider recognition and "stronger future growth of our financial services business".
Philip Gwyn, Christie Group chairman, said: "This half of the year has seen us make progress across our two main business areas. We are pleased to have worked for some major blue chip companies, including advising Nomura on its acquisition of 988 pubs from Bass."
Christie Group highlights
- Group turnover up 15 per cent
- Operating profit, before goodwill amortisation (payment of debts) increased 110 per cent
- Financial services businesses rebranded as Christie First
- Assignments for major blue chip companies included advising Nomura on the acquisition of 988 pubs from Bass and revaluing Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries.