'Resilient' trading for SimplyBiz despite pandemic disruptions

Yorkshire-based SimplyBiz today said it had recorded resilient trading during the first half of the year, despite the disruption caused by the pandemic.

SimplyBiz has published its half year results

SimplyBiz, which is a provider of compliance, technology and business services to financial advisers and financial institutions in the UK, has published its unaudited results for the six months ended June 30 2020.

Over the period, the company recorded revenue of £28.9m, which is less than the £29.1m recorded in the same period the year before.

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The operating profit was £5.0m, compared with £3.2m recorded in the comparative period the year before.

SimplyBiz said it "took strong and positive action within the first week of national lockdown to successfully ensure it could fully support its customers and colleagues".

The statement added: "All services to intermediary customers were moved onto a proprietary digital platform and delivered without disruption. Decisive cost control and efficiency improvements were made which will deliver sustained margin benefits in the future.

"Fintech and research remained resilient and robust over the period with continued product developments to support our future growth."

However, the company's mortgage valuation business and events programme were significantly affected by the lockdown, though volumes moderately increased in June.

The company's management expects a continued slow recovery in the housing market during the second half of the year.

The statement said: "Management also quickly and successfully moved to agile working, bringing forward and enhancing developments to the digital platform, enhancing the delivery of services."

Last year, the group bought Defaqto, a leading financial information and technology business, through a debt and equity raise.

Huddersfield-based SimplyBiz's enlarged group now serves more than 5,600 intermediary firms and 350 financial institutions.

Matt Timmins, the joint CEO of The SimplyBiz Group plc, said: "We are delighted to report strong and resilient trading for H1 2020, demonstrating the robust nature of our business.

"We benefited from an improving quality of our underlying earnings, under-pinned by six full months trading from Defaqto which helped offset a significant reduction in valuation income during the period.

"The quality of our revenues, the resilience of our customers, and the benefits of a stronger digital delivery platform have enabled strong trading during challenging times. We have responded quickly and decisively to deliver growth in key strategic areas, whilst improving the quality of our underlying earnings.

"We have accelerated our digital strategy. This data led, digital delivery, will further improve our quality of earnings, margins and cash generation going forward, whilst also improving customer service."

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank all of our colleagues, customers, and wider stakeholders for their support during these unprecedented times."

The business employs 560 staff in total, with 130 based at its head office in Huddersfield.

Mr Timmins said Huddersfield was a "wonderful town" and the company had taken on a lot of graduates from the local university. He said the Defaqto acquisition had made a huge difference to the business because it had brought in a vital tech platform.

Although he anticipated further disruption due to Covid-19, including local lockdowns, Mr Timmins said the pandemic had also accelerated the growth of digital platforms.

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James Mitchinson