Mercia Asset Management makes 'profitable progress' as it continues to support fast-growing companies in Yorkshire

Mercia Asset Management said it made “profitable progress” over the last half year as it continued to support fast-growing companies in Yorkshire.

Mercia saw its revenue rise by around 23 per cent to £15m in the six months ended 30 September 2023.

Mercia said it had continued to unearth interesting investment opportunities in Yorkshire. Over the half year, Mercia had invested £17.4m in Yorkshire businesses, compared with £8.7m in the same period the year before.

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Mark Payton, Chief Executive Officer of Mercia, commented: "Mercia has never been financially stronger.

James Wagner of J's Cycle Shack (right) is pictured with Andy Clough of Mercia Asset Management. (Photo by Shaun Flannery Photography Ltd)James Wagner of J's Cycle Shack (right) is pictured with Andy Clough of Mercia Asset Management. (Photo by Shaun Flannery Photography Ltd)
James Wagner of J's Cycle Shack (right) is pictured with Andy Clough of Mercia Asset Management. (Photo by Shaun Flannery Photography Ltd)

"The first six months of FY24 (full year 2024) have witnessed record revenues derived predominantly from Mercia’s profitable and cash generative third-party fund management operations.

"Mercia is now firmly established as a leading provider of private capital across venture, debt and private equity in the UK within the £0.5million to £20million range, with further attractive growth prospects across all of these discrete strategic asset classes.

"The group’s recent successful exit from its largest direct investment, nDreams, has materially increased Mercia’s debt-free liquidity position to c.£60million today. We are therefore pleased to announce a share buyback of up to £5m."

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Julian Viggars, the Chief Investment Officer, said: “It appears that as a global society we are rolling from one crisis to the next, with the events in Israel and Palestine just recently being the latest.

"This political and economic uncertainty is unnerving and we are seeing the effects, as both individuals and corporates are tending to make more prudent investment decisions involving less risk.

"We have asked our investees to stay focused on their own strategies, with the benefit of sufficient cash reserves and support, and focus on what they can control, running their businesses in the most efficient manner.

"This is what we are doing at Mercia. As always, I would like to thank all our dedicated staff for their efforts during the past six months.”

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Mercia said its competitive advantage comprises its people, geographic footprint, long-term investment performance, supportive stakeholders and broad capital deployment capabilities in the private markets.

The statement added: “At the heart of Mercia’s investment approach is diversification by regions, sectors, stages of businesses and investor types.”

Over the half year, Mercia provided a boost for one of the North’s fastest growing independent cycle retailers.

J’s Cycle Shack secured a £200,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, following its takeover of a store in West Yorkshire.

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J’s Cycle Shack, which had three existing outlets across Yorkshire, stepped in to save the triathlon shop Triangle in Guiseley following the death of its owner Adam Nevins in April this year.

J’s Cycle Shack is led by 30-year-old cycling enthusiast James Wagner, who founded the company in Knottingley in 2014 with the support of John Tanner, a retired professional cyclist who had competed in the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games and who continues to work in the business. The company now also has a store in Epworth, near Doncaster, and a warehouse and showroom in Wakefield.

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