United Kingdom-based Intermediate Capital Group Plc (ICG) reported a rise in assets under management and pretax profit for the first half ended Sept. 30.

The company attributed the rise in profit to lower impairment charges, a stronger investment portfolio and a growing fund management franchise.

"Although liquidity may distort asset values and financial returns in the short term, attractive opportunities are starting to emerge for investment firms and asset managers with a strong brand and reputation," the group said.

The group provides mezzanine and equity finance to companies throughout Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. Its business is organized into two segments. The Fund Management Co (FMC) is an operating vehicle of the group, while Investment Co (IC) is an investment unit.

As at Sept. 30, assets under management were 11.67 billion euros compared with 11.19 billion euros as at March 31 and 11.54 billion euros at September 30, 2009.

Group pretax profit was 105.1 million pounds ($167.4 million), compared with 8.1 million pounds in the first half of last year. Provisions for impairment of assets fell to 53.1 million pounds from 97.1 million pounds.

"Continuing high levels of realisations and lower impairment charges have benefitted the results of our Investment Company and the performance of our funds," said chief executive Christophe Evain.

The group does not expect market conditions to change materially in the second half and it expects to continue to benefit from a strong market for realisations.

Shares of ICG closed Monday's regular trading at 335.90 pence on the London Stock Exchange.