Broker’s EBITDA rises almost 12% despite tough conditions

High-street broker A-Plan made a profit after tax of £16.9m in the year ending 28 February 2014, up 11.3% on the £15.2m it made the previous financial year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 11.8% to £22.7m (2013: £20.3m), giving an EBITDA margin of 36.9% (2013: 36.4%).

Turnover rose 10.4% to £61.5m (2013: £55.7m), despite tough market conditions, which the company said were characterised by “double-digit premium deflation across the motor market and softening home rates”.

A-Plan said its growth was fuelled by a 13% increase in new business volumes, with the overall growth rate of policy numbers more than double that seen in the year ending February 28 2913.

It added that retention rates also remained high, with nine out of 10 invited policies renewing.

A-Plan opened four new branches in the year, taking the total to 72. It has opened 17 new branches in the past four years.

The company said this expansion was supplemented by a targeted local marketing, designed to drive client acquisition and support organic growth.

A-Plan chief executive Carl Shuker said: “We have delivered another strong set of results, despite challenging market conditions, with significant increases in new policy numbers as well as market-leading retention rates.

“On-going investment in the business continued throughout the year with further branch openings and targeted local marketing, enabling us to attract more clients. “

He added: “Our pipeline of new branches remains strong, and our strategy for the growth of our already substantial specialist lines is well developed.

“We have made a step up in the development and training of managers and staff to support our branch roll out plans, as well as to continuously improve our proposition for both our clients and insurer partners. We are well positioned to deliver our ambitious growth strategy.”