Shares in IFG Group closed sharply lower this evening after the company said it saw a 14% drop in its operating profit to £10m last year.

The financial services company said this was due to increased investment spend as well as the impact of interest rates.

Revenue at IFG’s main UK subsidiaries, James Hay and Saunderson House, rose by 10% to £78.5m.

Overall, pre-tax profit was 26% lower in 2016 at £6.4m, compared with £8.6m in 2015.

The firm said its balance sheet remains strong, with net cash of £28.2m (a rise of £0.9m on 2015) and no debt at the end of last year.

The total assets under administration and advice at year end 2016 for IFG was up 14% to £26.7 billion.

The company’s Chief Executive John Cotter said IFG enters 2017 “with both businesses in stronger positions than last year, benefiting from the accelerated investment in people and technology, which will differentiate both businesses going forward.

“In our markets, serving high-net worth clients, the quality of our relationships, digital capability and product set, is critical to retaining and attracting new clients.”

“In our markets, serving high-net worth clients, the quality of our relationships, digital capability and product set, is critical to retaining and attracting new clients.”

In its comment on IFG’s results, Davy said: “The group’s required reshaping is reportedly complete, yet it will take time for the benefits to flow through as the full impact of the base rate cut (£3.5m) will ensure the first half remains challenging from a financial perspective.”

IFG shares closed over 11% lower in Dublin trade trade today.