Distribution Finance Capital Holdings plc (LON:DFCH) – DF Capital – a specialist bank providing working capital solutions to dealers and manufacturers across the UK, announces a trading update for the 12 months ended 31 December 2021.
The Group originated a record c.£690m (2020: £253m) of new loans through the period and closed the year with a loan book of approximately £250m, more than doubling since the start of the year (31 December 2021: £113m). Net Interest Margin has continued to track in line with expectations at c.6%. The Group has continued to manage costs tightly during the period and has seen very low levels of arrears, which has positively impacted its loss provisions. Accordingly, the Board expects to be able to report the Group’s loss before tax for the year to be moderately ahead of its expectations and show a significant reduction over the previous year at c.£4m (2020: £13.6m).
During the period, the Group increased the number of dealers with facilities by almost 30% to 805 (2020: 623), with aggregate loan facilities up c.67% to c.£600m (2020: £358m). During Q4 2021, the Group completed a satisfaction survey of its lending customers and is pleased to report very positive feedback and a Net Promoter Score of +40.
Following its first full year as a fully authorised bank, the Group now holds retail deposits in excess of £295m, with an average savings rate of c.1.25%. Having launched a digitised self-service platform for depositors during August 2021, the Group now enjoys a feefo customer satisfaction rating of 4.6 out of 5.
In December, the Company conducted the “Best Companies to Work For” survey, to assess employee engagement across the Group. Over 97% of the Group’s employees participated in the survey and the Company is pleased to announce its accreditation by Best Companies with a “One to Watch” rating.
Despite its record loan origination, the growth in the number of dealer relationships and the continued strong demand for the products sold by its dealers, as previously communicated the Group’s customers continued to feel the impact of global supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. These slowed the pace of loan book growth throughout the year as stock held by dealers was sold more quickly and many manufacturers struggled to fully meet replenishment orders placed by their franchised dealers.
Whilst manufacturers continue to report an easing of supply chain and shipping issues across many of the sectors in which the Company operates, the Board remains realistic about the Group’s near-term loan book growth in light of the on-going challenges caused by COVID-19. Despite this level of uncertainty, the Board is targeting full year profitability for 2022.
The Company expects to announce its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2021 during April 2022.
Carl D’Ammassa, Chief Executive, commented: “Despite the uncertainties caused by the global pandemic, 2021 has been a transformational year for DF Capital. We have delivered a significant improvement in the Group’s profitability driven by the pace of loan book growth and our retail deposits funding strategy. It’s pleasing to hear strong positive feedback from our lending and depositor customers, as well as that from our employees which sees us accredited by Best Companies. We have a strong capital base, following the fundraise early in 2021, which will support our ambitious growth plans for 2022.”