Investment house Soul Pattinson just posted a record profit on rising coal prices

Photo: Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Investment house Washington H. Soul Pattinson, now with a major stake in ethical investor Hunter Hall, has just posted a record profit, helped by soaring coal prices.

The company, which has its beginnings as a chemist shop in Pitt Street, Sydney, in 1872, today posted a 56.1% increase to $149 million in net profit after tax for the six months to January.

Revenue was up 60.9% to $438.07 million.

The key investments which help make the result a record include New Hope Corporation whose contribution to profit rose 264.4% as it capitalised on a recovery in coal prices.

TPG Telecom’s contribution rose 24.6% and Brickworks 31.1%.

The company declared a fully franked dividend of 22 cents a share, an increase of 4.8% over the same period last year and the 19th straight year of increased interim dividends.

Managing Director Todd Barlow says the earnings growth and performance across the portfolio has been extremely strong over the first half and he expects most investments to carry this through for the full year.

“We are always on the lookout for good quality investments at attractive prices which will provide income and capital growth for shareholders over the long term,” he says.

“We have focused on the financial services thematic for some time and have made investments in Pengana Capital, Hunter Hall Global Value and Hunter Hall International in the past six months.”

Soul Pattinson also announced today it now had a 46.3% interest in Hunter Hall International, the ethical investment fund started by Peter Hall 22 years ago. He is exiting the company, selling his 43% holding to Soul Pattinson.

Soul Pattinson’s investments are valued at $4.5 billion, a decrease of $1.5 billion or 25.2% compared to $6.03 billion in July last year.

However, the contribution to profits of the company’s seven major investments increased despite the value in value, as this table shows:

Source: Soul Pattinson

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