Bell records a sound turnaround

One of the country's biggest stockbrokers, Bell Financial, has posted a $3.3 million half year profit, turning around a $1.8 million loss from this time last year.

One of the country's biggest stockbrokers, Bell Financial, has posted a $3.3 million half year profit, turning around a $1.8 million loss from this time last year.

The broker said retail investors had become more confident in recent months - partly as a consequence of easy global central bank monetary policy - and this had helped turn the company's fortunes around, with all underlying businesses becoming profitable in the six months to June 30.

This included a "steady performance" from the equity capital markets and wholesale divisions.

The company has declared a fully franked interim dividend of 1ยข per share.

Bell Financial chairman Colin Bell said in April the company's business model did not work well in bad markets but performed "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 has kept performing strongly.

Bell Financial's ownership of online broking business Bell Direct rose to 51.23 per cent during the period.

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