1pm plc, the AIM listed independent specialist finance provider of funding facilities to UK SMEs and consumers, is pleased to announce interim results for the six-month period ended 30 November 2019 ("Results" or "Interims").
The Interims reflect continued demand for finance from UK SMEs and consumers across a comprehensive range of products offered by the group. The results are underpinned by the Group's prudent underwriting and provisioning policies which are continuously under review, given the extended period of uncertainty experienced in the wider macro-economic environment. The Group remains resilient and profitable thanks to its ability to offer a complete range of finance products (asset, vehicles, loan and invoice finance) to UK SMEs; its flexible business model which enables it to act as either a funder or a broker in order to maintain margins and manage credit risk, and its current focus on increasing Group synergies and operational efficiencies.
· Deal origination increased 7% to £87.8m (H1 2018/19: £82.3m), 65% of which was brokered to other lenders for commissions (H1 2018/19 60%)
· Group revenue of £15.6m (H1 2018/19: £16.0m), reflecting slight change in product mix
· Group operating profit before exceptional items of £3.2m (H1 2018/19: £4.1m)
· Fully Diluted EPS of 2.70 pence per share (H1 2018/19: 3.14 pence per share)
· Net Assets increased 4% to £56.1m at 30 November 2019 (31 May 2019: £53.8m)
· 'Own-book' lending portfolio increased 1% to £143.5m at 30 November 2019 (31 May 2019: £141.7m)
· Funding facilities increased to £170.7m at 30 November 2019 (31 May 2019: £167.1m)
· The blended cost of borrowings in the period was 3.9% (year to 31 May 2019: 4.0%)
· Bad debt provisions prudently increased to 2.2% (£2.7m) of the total net portfolio (31 May 2019:1.9% or £2.4m)
· Interim dividend declared up 29% to 0.36 pence per share (Interim 2019: 0.28 pence per share)
· Significant investment in senior personnel and business functions in line with strategy; integration progressing as planned
Commenting on the Interim Results, John Newman, Non-Executive Chairman, said:
"Given the macro-economic and political uncertainty experienced in the UK throughout 2019, including the run-up to December's General Election, which clearly dampened business activity levels, we are satisfied with the trading momentum maintained across the Group during the first half. The Board believes that the Group's strategy of being a multi-product provider of finance to UK SMEs and consumers, allied to the flexibility of our "hybrid" operating model of either funding or broking-on new business origination remains sound and will facilitate future growth as well as mitigating the risks associated with any future economic downturn. This has enabled the Group to generate robust levels of demand whilst being able to maintain margin, control credit and spread risk. As a result, the Group remains strategically and operationally well positioned to deliver future growth.
I am also pleased to confirm that, in line with our progressive dividend policy, the Board is declaring an interim dividend of 0.36 pence per share for the half year period ended 30 November 2019. The dividend will be paid on 12 May 2020 to shareholders on the register at 17 April 2020."