UK shipbroking group Braemar Shipping Services has issued another positive trading update, saying it is ahead of analysts’ forecasts for its current financial year.

The London-listed broker and financial advisor said underlying operating profit is expected to be at least £12m ($15m) in the 12 months to 28 February 2023.

Guidance for the previous year that ended in February 2022 remains at £9.8m or above, slightly higher than consensus, following its March update.

The group made £7.7m in the 12 months ending February 2021.

“Trading in the new financial year is strong and the group is benefitting from both its increased scale and the current favourable market conditions,” the broker said.

Current trading is well ahead of the board’s previous expectations set at the start of the new financial year and is beating the market consensus of £10m.

This week, the company beat four other brokers to a seven-year, £9.9m deal to provide broking services to the UK’s ministry of defence.

The board now expects to recommend a final dividend of 5 pence per share for the year just ended, for a total of 7 pence for the period and up from 5 pence the year before.

Full audited results are now expected in the second half of June, giving auditors time to complete their work, including in particular the audit of the sale of Cory Brothers.

Profit forecasts exclude specific acquisition and disposal-related items from the Cory deal.

All-cash deal

An agreement to sell Cory Brothers was announced on 1 March.

The buyer is Vertom Cory Holdings for a price of between £10.25m and £15.5m, spread over three earn-out periods ending on 31 December 2024.

The all-cash deal will see a first payment of £6.5m, and three more instalments based on future profit.

The disposal marked the end of Braemar’s strategy of simplifying its services to focus on shipbroking under chief executive James Gundy.