Trading on a p:e ratio that's high for the times (nearly 19 in early June), Peregrine recently reported profit from existing SA operations at 47% lower than the previous year. Earnings were further dampened by negative investment returns, as well as a swing from net interest received to interest paid for the year.
The good times seem far off - in September 2007 the FM commented that the company's hedge fund and retail wealth management activities "had not been tainted by global jitters about financial stocks. Its share is at a record high and up 63% this year". Headline EPS were expected to be up 95%-115%. In April 2008 Peregrine acquired a controlling interest in international wealth and asset manager Stenham Limited. This boosted the annuity component of earnings and increased assets under management by 87% to R80bn.
In the latest results, the 72% increase in operating expenses was primarily a result of consolidating the Stenham operations for the first time. Peregrine says the Stenham acquisition, combined with existing offshore income, "should result in at least one third of group net income being earned offshore in ensuing years".