Credit card and mobile phone insurance group CPP has reported its first year of growth since 2011 and said it is focused on future growth and prosperity.
Chief executive Jason Walsh described 2017 as one of the most important years in CPP’s history as the Leeds-based firm announced a 24 per cent jump in continuing group revenue to £91m after a turbulent few years.
CPP said revenues increased significantly, driven by rapid international growth, and the group has returned to statutory profitability and substantially improved its financial strength.
This follows a new growth strategy focused on building partner relationships and investment in innovative product-based technology.
International revenues rose by 54 per cent to £69.1m, including revenue from India which has increased by 164 per cent to £40m.
"We have seen an uplift in overseas revenue, specifically in India and Turkey," said Mr Walsh.
"The overall direction of travel is positive. Our customer base in Turkey has increased significantly year on year, as it has in India."
Mr Walsh said the group's strategy is to expand from its existing overseas hubs. This will mean expanding from India to Bangladesh, from Germany to Northern Europe and from Mexico to neighbouring countries.
The group reported a return to statutory operating profit of £3.5m in the year to December 31, up from a £1.8m loss in 2016.
Underlying operating profit fell to £3.9m from £8.4m as the growth in the international business is not yet covering the reduction in the higher margin restricted UK renewal book.
CPP also saw a return to statutory profit after tax from continuing operations of £4.6m from a loss of £500,000 in 2016.
"The new strategy is to really focus on overseas growth," said Mr Walsh.
"We also have a strategy to re-enter the UK market. In March 2017, we acquired Blink, an innovative product and systems developer based in Ireland. Since acquisition, we have continued to invest and grow the Blink business which is already delivering functionality for providing innovative product solutions into local market places."
CPP will use Blink to re-establish itself in the UK.
The group's worldwide customer numbers have increased by 26 per cent to 5.5 million across 11 countries, including a 56 per cent increase in the international customer base.
The firm has also expanded its product development capability with the recent acquisition of a strategic minority stake in KYND, a London-based cyber security diagnostics
Mr Walsh said:“This was one of the most important years in CPP’s history, one in which we not only significantly improved the financial performance of the group but also, and more importantly, refocused it for future growth and prosperity.
"Today CPP is a fundamentally stronger and more energised business than before. Our international business is continuing to grow rapidly and together with once again having an approved company as an intermediary in the UK market we will continue to develop suites of innovative technology-based protection services that will benefit all our markets."
He said the group's corporate office is now much smaller and the core team are "sufficiently nimble" to take advantage of growth opportunities.
"Our strong balance sheet and cash resources give us ample opportunity to invest in new products and services or make strategic acquisitions, while our growing array of partners will enable us to bring our services to market. We are looking forward to another year of growth in 2018," he added.
CPP has had a tough few years after it was fined £10.5m in 2012 for misleading customers into buying worthless insurance for credit cards.