Bell Financial swings back into profit, ringing up $3.3m for half-year

One of the country's biggest stockbrokers has posted a $3.3 million half-year profit, after a $1.8 million loss this time last year.

One of the country's biggest stockbrokers has posted a $3.3 million half-year profit, after a $1.8 million loss this time last year.

Bell Financial Group says retail investors had become more confident in recent months - partly due to easy global central bank monetary policy - which helped to turn the company's fortunes around, with all of its underlying businesses becoming profitable in the six months to June 30. This included a "steady performance" from its equity capital markets and wholesale divisions.

It has declared a fully franked interim dividend of 1¢ a share.

Bell Financial executive chairman Colin Bell said in April that the company's business model did not work well in bad markets, but did "very well in good markets as we saw in 2007 and [as we] have had a glimpse of in recent months".

Since then the market continued to perform strongly.

Bell Financial, which has funds under management of $22 billion, generates all its revenue from commission income and from fees on services such as equity capital markets, portfolio administration, superannuation and margin lending. Its ownership of online broking business Bell Direct increased to 51.23 per cent in the period.