190309 Investec CEO Stephen Koseff speaking at their pre resultsl presentation at their offices in Sandton.photo by Simphiwe Mbokazi 33

Johannesburg - Investec Plc, the owner of a bank and money manager in South Africa and the UK, said operating profit in the nine months through December climbed as funds under management gained and operations improved.

Operating profit before goodwill, acquired intangibles, non-operating items and taxation as well as non-controlling interests rose 12 percent percent from the year-earlier period, the Johannesburg- and London-based company said in a statement today, without giving details.

Total operating income, excluding depreciation on operating leased assets, rose 1 percent.

Investec is also “exploring a potential sale of Kensington, the group’s intermediary mortgage business in the UK, having received certain expressions of interest,” it said in the statement.

Fenchurch Advisory has been appointed to conduct the process, Investec said.

The South African rand has depreciated 4 percent against the pound this year, making it the worst performer of 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Investec said this has negatively impacted “overall group results” since the southern African region accounts for more than two thirds of operating profit.

To cut costs the group has also eliminated jobs, scaled back and closed some Australian units.

“Asset management reported results moderately ahead of the prior year and wealth and investment’s results increased substantially with both divisions benefiting from higher levels of average funds under management and net inflows,” Investec said.

The stock rose 0.3 percent to 71.27 rand as of 9:13 a.m. in Johannesburg. - Bloomberg News