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Mortgage Advice Bureau reports strong year despite mini-budget fallout

By Josh White

Date: Tuesday 28 Mar 2023

Mortgage Advice Bureau reports strong year despite mini-budget fallout

(Sharecast News) - Mortgage Advice Bureau reported a 22% increase in revenue in its final results on Tuesday, to £230.8m, alongside a 24% rise in gross profit to £62.9m.
The AIM-traded company said its gross profit margin expanded by 0.3 percentage points in the year ended 31 December, to 27.3%.

It said that despite a one percentage point fall in its adjusted profit before tax margin to 11.8%, it achieved a 13% increase in adjusted profit before tax, to £27.2m.

However, it recorded a 25% decrease in statutory profit before tax to £17.4m, and a 4.8 percentage point fall in its statutory profit before tax margin to 7.5%.

The firm also experienced a 38% drop in basic earnings per share to 21.8p, although adjusted earnings per share increased 2% to 37.8p.

Adjusted cash conversion dropped by eight percentage points, to 105%.

On the operational front, MAB reported a 20% increase in gross mortgage completions, including product transfers, to £27.3bn, and a 21% rise in gross new mortgage completions, excluding product transfers, to £23.6bn.

Its market share of new mortgage lending increased to 7.5%, from 6.4% in 2021, while revenue from refinancing rose to 32%, compared to 25% a year earlier.

The firm completed the acquisition of 75.4% of the Fluent Money Group in the year, which the board said was "transformational" for its lead generation strategy.

Additionally, it extended its protection and general insurance proposition into a wider addressable market, with controlling stakes acquired in Vita Financial and Aux Group.

As at 24 March, the number of advisers was down to to 2,129 due to the "sudden shock" to the mortgage market in the wake of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwateng's September 'mini-budget', although the company was expecting adviser numbers to stabilise in the second quarter, and to gradually improve as business volumes increased.

MAB said current trading was in line with expectations, as the board proposed a final dividend of 14.7p, in line with the year-end distribution for 2021.

"Prior to the mini-budget in September, the group was on track for 2023 to be a record year of growth, despite an expected softening in housing transactions due to inflationary pressures," said chief executive officer Peter Brodnicki.

"Although mortgage transaction levels have improved since the collapse post mini-budget, they remain circa 35% down year to date compared to the same period in 2022.

"MAB is performing considerably better than wider transaction numbers reflect and our market share is continuing to grow strongly."

Brodnicki said with current trading in line with expectations, the company was expecting a second-half weighted financial performance.

"This is a strong performance considering the fall in gross mortgage approvals since October is of a similar scale to the fall seen during the global financial crisis, rather than the normal and more easily managed peaks and troughs we see during fluctuating housing cycles.

"2022 was a milestone year for the business in terms of proposition delivery.

"Following the acquisition of Fluent, MAB is well-positioned as a leader in the three largest sectors for mortgage lead generation, comprising estate agency, new build, and price comparison websites."

The acquisition also extended the group's customer reach into other specialisms, Peter Brodnicki noted, including secured loans, which alone offered "significant" mortgage refinancing opportunities.

"We also delivered the first stage of our centralised lead generation programme, which is part of our major strategy to drive new lead flow to our partner firms in all market conditions.

"We also delivered meaningful time savings in the advice process, with excellent progress being made to deliver significant further time savings over the next 18 months.

"2022 also saw the launch of MAB New Homes and a leading protection proposition for the directly authorised market, through the acquisition of Auxilium."

Brodnicki said the firm was continuing to invest in its employees, with the "significant" capital investment in its Derby head office providing an "excellent" working environment to support the accelerated growth expected in the medium term.

"We expect the housing and mortgage markets to recover as they always do, and in the meantime, MAB continues to strengthen its proposition and use the more challenging market to onboard more high-quality firms and grow market share."

At 1237 BST, shares in Mortgage Advice Bureau Holdings were up 1.53% at 629.5p.

Reporting by Josh White for


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