Profit rises for seventh year at Skipton Business Finance

Greg Bell, managing director of Skipton Business Finance
Greg Bell, managing director of Skipton Business Finance
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PROFIT at Skipton Business finance rose for the seventh consecutive year as the small business lender continued its geographical and product expansion.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Skipton Building Society, saw an eight per cent increase in pre-tax profit to £3.2m in 2015.

Revenue climbed by nine per cent to £10.9m, up from £9.7m in 2014.

Skipton Business Finance, which provides working capital loans to owner-managed businesses, also saw a 12 per cent rise in the number of clients to 553 and its advances to clients grew 12 per cent to £72m.

Client turnover was up 11 per cent to £0.8bn.

The company expanded into the south of England for the first time in 2015 with the opening of a new office in Bracknell, Berkshire. It also launched its My White Label confidential loan, which is aimed at small businesses with a turnover under £1m.

Skipton Business Finance, which is headquartered at The Bailey in Skipton, North Yorkshire, also has regional centres in Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham. The firm employs 90 staff.

Managing director Greg Bell said: “We have been really strong in Yorkshire and that has been a really important part of the year’s success.”

He added: “I’m very pleased with another strong set of results. Our primary purpose is to help owner managed businesses grow and develop - and in turn help to create wealth and employment in their local communities.

“Skipton Business Finance is focused on helping our SME clients achieve their full potential by ensuring that the ambition of the management team is equally matched with the financial support we can provide to help them achieve future success.”

He added: “Skipton Business Finance is accredited with the government’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Scheme.

“This allows clients access to funds over and above a traditional invoice finance facility for specific projects or development that will benefit the company’s future prosperity.

“By using the EFG scheme effectively clients can take advantage of opportunities for expansion or acquisition as well as alleviating short term cash flow pressures.

“I also love the fact that we can take a phone call from a business on a Monday and have funds advanced by Friday if necessary.”

Mr Bell said the majority of demand for finance was currently from haulage companies and temporary recruitment companies an added that the government-backed EFG loans were its most popular products.

Alex Robinson, chairman of Skipton Business Finance, said: “I’m very proud of Skipton Business Finance’s achievements and continue to support its growth strategy to deliver funding to SMEs across the UK.”

Mr Bell said Skipton is to launch its new Skipton Select product, which aims to simplify invoice finance with one price and no interest, in the next few weeks. He added: “The economy has picked up and working capital is the key to funding expansion for SMEs who want to extend themselves.”