Anexo Group revenue increased 42% to £68.6 million

Anexo Group plc (AIM: ANX), the specialist integrated credit hire and legal services provider, has reported its Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2022 (‘H1 2022’ or the ‘period’)

Financial Highlights

 H1 2022H1 2021Movement 
Revenue£68.6 million£48.3 million+42.0%
Operating profit£16.1 million£10.4 million+54.8%
Profit before tax£13.6 million£8.9 million+52.8%
Net assets£137.8 million£117.8 million+17.0%
Cash collection£67.9 million£56.7 million+19.8%
Basic EPS9.3 pence6.1 pence+52.5%

· Revenue increased 42% to £68.6 million (H1 2021: £48.3 million) from increased vehicles on hire and growth in legal fee earners

· Operating profit increased 55% per cent to £16.1 million (H1 2021: £10.4 million) from improved cash collections, leverage of overhead, maximising opportunities within credit hire and an improved vehicle mix

· Cash collections from settled cases increased 20% to £67.9 million (H1 2021: £56.7 million) with strong sales growth driving an increase in Trade Receivables to £209.8 million (30 June 2021: £160.5 million, 31 December 2021: £188.1 million)

· Net debt (including lease liabilities) as 30 June 2022: £74.2 million (30 June 2021: £44.4 million, 31 December 2021: £62.0 million)

Operational Highlights

· The Group has shown robust growth across both its divisions with strong growth in Group vehicle numbers and high-quality senior fee earner recruitment in the legal division

· Vehicle numbers which grew rapidly in the first half of the year are now being carefully managed to maximise efficient use of working capital

· The number of Group vehicles on the road on 31st August 2022 was 1,828

· The proportion of the vehicle fleet composed of motorcycles continues to increase following the agreement with MCE Insurance in the fourth quarter of 2021

· Good progress is being made with the Volkswagen AG (“VW”) emissions case ahead of the scheduled court date in early 2023. The Group has committed the £2 million of funding raised at the end of 2021 towards the acquisition of Mercedes emissions cases. Total cumulative investment in both VW and Mercedes cases is £5.8 million, all of which has been expensed including £1.3 million in the first half of 2022 (H1 2021: £0.5 million)

· The Group’s burgeoning Housing Disrepair (“HDR”) business has gained significant traction in the first half, with approximately 2,300 cases overall, of which almost 600 settled in the first half of the year. HDR revenue more than doubled in the first half to £4.7 million (2021: £2.2 million), with profit of £2.4 million (2021 H1: £1.1 million).

Outlook

The Group has shown robust growth during the period and plans to optimise cash generation in the second half year. The Board has confidence in meeting market expectations for the year with a focus on improving the vehicle mix, building on the strong progress in Housing Disrepair and maximising the emissions opportunities.

KPIs H1 2022H1 2021Movement
Number of vehicles on hire at the period end1,9471,740+11.9%
Average number of vehicles on hire for the period 2,043 1,461+39.8%
Completed vehicle hires5,5014,081+34.8%
Number of hire cases settled3,5632,924+21.9%
Number of new cases funded5,0824,208+20.8%
Cash collections from settled cases (£’000s)67,93156,665+19.9%
Legal staff employed at period end633578+9.5%

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

“I am delighted to report that the Group has continued its strong performance during the first half of the year. Business activity in both our credit hire and legal services divisions has grown strongly.

“We are proud of the social value of the services we offer. Anexo provides assistance to people who find themselves in an invidious position through no fault of their own, whether through being deprived of an essential vehicle or through living in substandard housing conditions, along with the other problems which may be exacerbated by such situations. We remain committed to providing help to those who might otherwise be unable to obtain redress.

“We continue to manage our vehicle fleet carefully and to maximise cash collections by identifying appropriate hire opportunities, particularly within the motorcycle sector; this allows for more efficient use of working capital whilst also increasing the overall number of case settlements.

“The strong progress being made in housing disrepair and emissions will underpin the continued growth in the core business, and the Board remains confident in meeting market expectations for the year.”

Results Conference Call

An analyst conference call will be held at 09:30 BST today, 20 September 2022. Retail investors will also be able to listen to the call but will not be eligible to ask questions. A copy of the Interim Results presentation is available at the Group’s website: https://www.anexo-group.com/. Please contact Nick Dashwood Brown, Head of Investor Relations, at nick@anexo-group.com if you would like to join the call.

An audio webcast of the conference call with analysts will be available after 12:00 BST today on the Company’s website: https://www.anexo-group.com/.

Executive Chairman’s Statement

On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to introduce Anexo’s results for the six-month period ended 30 June 2022. The Group has continued to demonstrate the effectiveness of its business model. Vehicle numbers within the credit hire division have grown, while increased case settlements within the legal services division have ensured a good rise in cash collections.

Demand for hire vehicles shows no signs of abating. We continue to recruit staff in targeted areas within the legal services division, while case settlements and cash collections continue to grow. This points to plenty of opportunities for the Group, albeit at lower levels of growth to ensure that cash generation can be further improved.

H1 2022 Group Performance

Anexo has delivered a strong performance across all key Group financial metrics and KPIs over the first six months of the year. Group revenues in H1 2022 increased by 42% to £68.6 million (H1 2021: £48.3 million) and profit before tax rose by 52% to £13.6 million (H1 2020: £8.9 million).

Credit Hire Division

Demand for vehicles has remained strong throughout the period following the decisive return of traffic levels to pre-pandemic levels. The average number of vehicles on the road during H1 2022 reached 2,043 (H1 2021: 1,461), a 40% increase on the prior year. The Group is committed to careful management of vehicle numbers to maximise efficient use of working capital; as a consequence, the overall number of vehicles on the road has been declining toward the end of the first half of the year and at the period end the number stood at 1,947. This still represents an 11.9% increase on the H1 2021 number but shows a reduction of 17.7% on the 2,366 vehicles on the road at the end of FY 2021.

This performance led to growth in Credit Hire revenue of 62%, up from £26.3 million in H1 2021 to £42.5 million in H1 2022. Profit before tax in the Credit Hire division rose by 36% to £10.9 million in H1 2022 (H1 2021: £8.0 million). Completed vehicle hires rose by 35% to 5,501 in H1 2022 (H1 2021: 4,081). This increase has been supported by the agreement with MCE Insurance announced on 25 November 2021 as well as by a number of protocols with insurance counterparties.

Legal Services Division

Credit Hire

The Group remains committed to its strategy of increasing its claim settlement capacity, thereby maximising cash collections. The number of senior fee earners employed at the end of H1 2022 rose by 41% to 247 (H1 2021: 175) and the overall number of legal staff rose from 578 in H1 2021 to 633 in H1 2022, an increase of 10%.

This investment has underpinned continued growth in cash collections, which rose 20% in H1 2021 to a total of £67.9 million (H1 2021: £56.7 million). Revenues from the Legal Services division, which strongly converts to cash, increased by 8.1% to £21.4 million in H1 2022 (H1 2021: £19.8 million). Profit before taxation rose from £1.5 million in H1 2021 to £2.5 million in H1 2022, an increase of 67%. The Group expects this revenue trend to continue as more of our staff reach maturity from a cash collection and settlement position.

Housing Disrepair

The Group’s Housing Disrepair (“HDR”) division continues to show significant growth. The number of ongoing claims currently stands at approximately 2,300 cases. HDR continues to require additional cash funding; this amounted to £0.3 million in the first half year, with profit of £2.4 million (2021 H1: £1.1 million).

Emissions Litigation

The advocacy team continues to act on behalf of a number of individuals in the pursuit of a claim against VW and its subsidiaries (the “VW Emissions case”). The Group announced on 26 May 2022 that it is engaged in approximately 13,000 cases. The Group remains in discussions with VW and its representatives around a possible settlement of these claims.

The Group continues to pursue other emissions cases, particularly in relation to Mercedes Benz. Total expenditure that has been expensed in the H1 2022 is £1.3 million (H1 2021: £0.5 million). The Group currently has approximately 4,000 Mercedes cases.

The Board believes there is a significant short-term opportunity to accelerate growth in emissions claims against specific vehicle manufacturers, as well as HDR claims. Accordingly, the Group has negotiated an increase in its loan agreement with Blazehill Capital, first announced on 11 May 2022, from £7.5 million to £15 million. The funds will be drawn down immediately to take advantage of this opportunity. The costs in targeting further emissions claims will be expensed in the normal way and the Group will update the market with details of emissions expenditure on a regular basis.

Dividend

The Board believes that the emissions opportunity warrants significantly increased investment over the next few months and has therefore resolved that the interests of the Group and its shareholders would be best served by paying an annual dividend following the announcement of the Group’s full year results.

Outlook

The Group has shown robust growth in the first half and plans to optimise cash generation in the second half year with a focus on improving the vehicle mix. The Board has confidence in meeting market expectations for the year with a focus on continuing the strong progress in Housing Disrepair and maximising the emissions opportunities. 

Alan Sellers

Executive Chairman

20 September 2022

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