1pm plc, the AIM listed independent specialist finance provider of funding facilities to UK SMEs and consumers, is pleased to announce its financial results for the six-month period ended 30 November 2018 (“results” or “interims”).
The Interims reflect continued strong demand for finance from UK SMEs and consumers across the wide range of products offered, fulfilled through commercial underwriting and underpinned by cautious provisioning policies. The strong trading results are a product of the increased scale of the group’s activities following the successful integration of multiple acquisitions over the past three years; the strategy of being a multi-product provider of finance (asset, vehicles, loan and invoice finance); the effective, flexible business model of being able to act as both a funder and a broker; and increasing group synergies and efficiencies. Own-book funding continues to be solely for UK SME finance with the group acting as a broker for consumer and vehicle finance.
New business origination increased 10% to £82.3m (H1 2017/18: £74.9m)
Group revenue increased 15% to £16.0m (H1 2017/18: £13.9m)
Group operating profit before exceptional items increased 14% to £4.1m (H1 2017/18: £3.6m)
Basic earnings per share increased 12% to 3.62 pence (H1 2017/18: 3.23 pence)
Net assets at 30 November 2018 increased 6% to £51.0m (31 May 2018: £47.9m)
Net bad debt write-offs in the period were £0.5m (H1 2017/18: £0.7m)
At period end, total bad debt provisions were £2.4m representing 2.0% of the total net portfolio (30 November 2017: £2.1m representing 1.8% of the total net portfolio)
Flexible operating model of either funding on ‘own-book’ or generating broking commissions resulted in approximately 60% of all origination being brokered on to other lenders for commissions (H1 2017/18: 58%)
Combined ‘own-book’ assets, loans and invoice finance portfolio increased 9% to £142.1m (30 November 2017: £130.1m)
Funding facilities available to the Group as at 30 November 2018 stood at £169.5m (31 May 2018: £162.6m)
Blended cost of borrowings in the period was 4.0% (year to 31 May 2018: 4.1%)
Integration of business functions continues to accelerate with origination of new leads from cross-selling the group’s products progressing in line with management expectations
In line with the positive background of these results, and the group’s enhanced and progressive dividend policy announced on 26 July 2018, the board is pleased to declare an interim dividend for the first time of 0.28p per share for the half year period ended 30 November 2018 to be paid on 1 May 2019 to shareholders on the register at 1 April 2019.
Commenting on the interim results, John Newman, non-executive chairman, said:
“We are pleased these Interims show that the recent focus on organic growth has delivered another set of strong results. This is particularly encouraging given continuing economic and political uncertainties. Furthermore, this performance demonstrates the effectiveness of our strategy of being a multi-product provider of finance to UK SMEs and consumers, allied to the flexibility of either own-book funding or broking on. This strategic and market positioning has enabled the group to generate robust levels of demand whilst being able to maintain margin, control credit and spread risk. The group is strategically and operationally well positioned to deliver further growth.”