(updates to add outlook, CEO comment, income details) WIESLOCH, Germany (Thomson Financial) - MLP AG said operating profit in third quarter was nearly unchanged at 17.4 mln eur compared with 17.5 mln in the same period last year but pretax profit fell 6 pct due to a one-time restructuring charge of 3.8 mln.
Pretax profit stood at 17.7 mln eur compared to 18.8 mln.
Lower tax rates due to changes in tax laws shored up net profit by 35 pct to 16.5 mln eur.
A consensus of analysts polled Thomson Financial News partner dpa-AFX had forecast flat pretax of 18.8 mln eur and net of 13.7 mln. Total revenues rose to 137.3 mln eur from 127.8 mln as income from banking business grew 15 pct to offset an 8 pct drop in income from brokerage business.
MDAX-listed MLP reiterated its full year EBIT target of 110 mln eur. After nine months, EBIT stood at 53.4 mln eur. "By creating clear sales impetus in September we paved the way for a pleasant progress, which was evident in the first few weeks of the new quarter and we expect the MLP specific year-end dynamics", chief executive Uwe Schroeder-Wildberg said in a statement. As of tomorrow, MLP will be continuing its share buy-back programme as announced and will purchase a maximum of a further 1.8 percent of the share capital which corresponds to about 22 mln eur.
Income from MLP's brokerage business declined 8 pct year-on-year in the third quarter to 95.6 mln eur. Banking business contributed 15 higher income at 20.1 mln eur.
The recently established wealth management segment, which includes unit Feri, achieved income of 9.3 mln eur.
As of September 30, MLP's number of clients amounted to 707,000 compared to 685,000 at the end of last year. The number of MLP consultants was only marginally higher at 2,579 compared to 2,571 at the end of 2006, clearly missing analysts expectations of 2,629. MLP previously said it expects its number of consultants to increase to 2,750 by the end of the year. firstname.lastname@example.org mog/ejp/jcs/ejp COPYRIGHT Copyright Thomson Financial News Limited 2007. All rights reserved.
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