CPP returns to growth

CPP Group HQ in York
CPP Group HQ in York
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Credit card insurance firm CPPGroup has returned to growth for the first time in five years, boosted by strong growth in international sales.

The York-based firm said international revenues rose 52 per cent to £30.3m, which compensated for a reduction in the UK renewal book.

Group revenue rose 18 per cent to £41.8m in the six months to June 30, representing the first period of growth in over five years

​CPP said the UK renewal book is in managed decline​. Revenues ​fell 26​ per cent​ to £11.4​m.

​​The group's CEO Jason Walsh​ said:​ ​"I am pleased with the performance of the business during the first half of this year, which has seen a return to revenue growth for the first time in five years.

​"​This was the result of growth in a number of our key international markets, but particularly India, where our consumer-led products and ​b​usiness ​p​artner relationships have gone from strength to strength.​"​

​He said the group has​ simplified its operating structure by devolving greater responsibility to country leaders.

"We are continuing to deliver on our strategic plan and as we enter the second half of the year, we expect to continue this revenue growth momentum and remain confident with the outlook for the full year​,​"​ he added.

Reported operating profit ​rose 2​ per cent​ to £2.7​m However, underlying operating profit ​fell 42​ per cent​ to £2.1​m with the growth from an increasing international customer base not yet covering the decline in the higher margin UK renewal book.

​The group expects to see ​continued significant growth in revenues​ i​n ​its​ international business​​​, led by India where ​it​ also expect​s​ the percentage margin to materially increase as higher margin products enter the mix​.

CPP said it has​ made major progress during the first half of the year in freeing up the necessary capital to take the ​g​roup into the next stage of its strategy.

In May​, it received approval from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to lift the non-trading related restrictions for Homecare Insurance Limited​ (HIL)​. The lifting of these restrictions allows the ​g​roup to develop a structured run-off plan for HIL with the regulator, which will release further capital for investment in ​its targeted international growth opportunities.

In June, the ​g​roup completed the sale and partial leaseback of its ​h​ead ​o​ffice in York. The sale proceeds of £5.3​m ​have increased the cash funds available to the ​g​roup to reinvest into the business.

This funding will be used to​ invest in the group's rapidly expanding international operations, particularly ​in ​India, China and Turkey, as well as in other more recent investments, such as Blink, the digital travel product and innovation business, which CPP acquired in March.

​"​Our country heads now have more autonomy across a broader aspect of their business including marketing, product selection and financial performance​," said Mr Walsh​.

​"​This change allows our experts in country, who are best placed to understand local demands and opportunities, to make key decisions that affect their business and customers. ​"​This is an important development as not only does it create true accountability for the country heads but it also has enabled less reliance on a large, UK based ​g​roup function, with the focus now on an efficient ​c​orporate ​c​entre that will provide the appropriate level of support, oversight and governance across the entire ​g​roup.​"