Anexo Group continued growth in capacity underpins full year of net cash generation

Anexo Group

Anexo Group plc (LON:ANX), the specialist integrated credit hire and legal services provider, has today announced its final results for the year ended 31st December 2020.

Financial Highlights

·    Revenue increased by 10.5% to £86.8 million (2019: £78.5 million)
·    Operating profit reported at £18.1 million (2019: £24.6 million), a reduction of 26.6% in line with market expectations
·    Adjusted1 operating profit before exceptional items in line with market expectations, declining by 25.9% to £18.7 million (2019: £25.3 million)
·    Adjusted1 operating profit margin reduced to 21.6% (2019: 32.2%)
·    Profit before tax of £15.5 million (2019: £22.4 million), a reduction of 30.8%
·    Adjusted1 profit before tax and exceptional items reported at £16.1 million, (2019: £23.0 million), a decline of 29.9% after £6.5 million of investment in staff, VW case acquisition costs and IT costs associated with the headcount increase
·    Adjusted2 basic EPS at 11.4 pence (2019: 17.0 pence)
·    Proposed final dividend of 1 penny per share giving a total dividend for the year of 1.5 pence per share (2019: 1.5 pence per share)
·    Net assets reported at £110.4 million (2019: £91.7 million) representing an increase of 20.4%
·    Reduction in net cash outflows from operating activities reporting a net cash inflow of £0.2 million in 2020 (2019: net cash outflow: £0.8 million)
·    Net debt balance at 31 December 2020 was £40.5 million (31 December 2019: £36.2 million)

Note: The basis of preparation of the consolidated financial statements for the current and previous year is set out in the Financial Review.

1.                    Adjusted operating profit and profit before tax: excludes share‑based payment charges in 2019 and 2020. A reconciliation to reported (IFRS) results is included in the Financial Review.

2.                    Adjusted EPS: adjusted PBT less tax at statutory rate divided by the weighted number of shares in issue during the year.

Financial and Operational KPIs

·    During 2020 the Group has seen continued improvement in a number of key performance measures (detailed below). These have resulted in a transition from cash absorption to cash generation by the Group, notwithstanding the issues faced during 2020 from COVID-19. This trend is particularly pleasing with an increase in the number of new cases funded, rising from 6,959 to 7,535. This illustrates increased investment in our portfolio of cases and is supported by growth in cash collections, which rose by 16.4% in the year to reach £98.0 million in FY 2020. 
·    This improvement has been supported by investment in legal staff. In 2019, the number of senior fee earners grew by almost 43% to reach 127 at the year end. Further recruitment in 2020 has resulted in headcount growing by a further 18 staff (an increase of 14%) to end the year at 145 senior fee earners.
KPI’s20202019% movement
Total revenues (£’000s)86,75278,51010.5%
Gross profit (£’000s)67,95262,8078.2%
Adjusted operating profit (£000’s)18,70825,250(25.9%)
Adjusted operating profit margin (%)21.6%32.2%(32.9%)
Vehicles on hire at the year-end (no)1,6131,30823.3%
Average vehicles on hire for the year (no)1,5151,4544.2%
Number of hire cases settled5,2364,9386.0%
Cash collections from settled cases (£’000s)97,97784,14016.4%
New cases funded (no)7,5356,9598.3%
Senior fee earners at period end (no)14512714.2%
Average number of senior fee earners (no)14011126.1%

Commenting on the Final Results, Alan Sellers, Executive Chairman of Anexo Group plc, said:

“I am delighted to report that the Group has achieved the milestone of net cash generation throughout the Financial Year. This achievement is especially notable given the disruption we experienced throughout the year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We continue to focus on increasing cash settlements through the expansion of our Legal Services division while using our working capital to underpin growth in our Credit Hire division. Vehicle numbers were very robust, particularly in the second half of the year, despite the pandemic.

“Both our business divisions have remained fully operational throughout the 2020 and into 2021 and the Group has demonstrated considerable resilience. Ongoing investment into our advocacy practice is forming a solid foundation for our strategy of building this into a major contributor to future revenues.

“The arrival of DBAY Advisors Limited as a significant shareholder is a major vote of confidence in the Group’s strategy and management and we look forward to working closely with DBAY to ensure continued expansion of our main business divisions and to create value for all our shareholders.

“The Board remains confident of the Group’s capacity for organic growth. We believe that we have proved the resilience of our business in the difficult circumstances we continue to experience. Given our strong financial position we believe that Anexo is well positioned to continue its growth trajectory and deliver profitable growth to our shareholders. The Board is pleased to propose a dividend of 1 penny.”

Analyst Briefing

A conference call for analysts will be held at 9.30am today, 27 April 2021.  A copy of the Final Results presentation is available at the Group’s website: https://www.anexo-group.com/  

An audio webcast of the conference call with analysts will be available after 12pm today: https://www.anexo-group.com/content/investors/latest-results

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