Turnover and profits rise as broking remains core to business

Insurance broking and financial services group Brightside saw turnover up 39% and pre-tax profit up 28% £3.2m for the first half of 2009.

Financial Highlights (000s) 2008 in brackets

  • Revenue £21,651 (£15,566)
  • Gross profit £16,673 (£12,649)
  • Operating profit £3,387 (£2,971)
  • Profit before income tax £3,184 (£2,498)
  • Profit after tax £2,222 (£1,728)
  • Insurance broker
  • Revenue £14,419 (£12,606)
  • Profit £2,254 (£2,061)

It said its insurance broking and premium finance operations were well placed for growth in hardening market

Strength of business model

Paul Chase-Gardener, chief executive said: “The Group has delivered strong results in the first half of 2009 with some compelling growth in policy numbers, income and earnings compared with the same period of 2008.

“The achievement of these results against a backdrop of weak economic conditions highlights the strength of our underlying business model. This view is reinforced by the annual Insurance Times Top 50 Brokers listing, which was updated in August 2009. The current listing ranks the Group, 30th based upon revenue (41st in August 2008 listing), and 21st, based on profitability, the Group's preferred measure.

“During the reporting period the wider insurance industry has faced some significant challenges with the focus moving towards underwriting returns in the face of a realignment of asset values and an absence of secure investment returns. Brightside has however secured the necessary capacity through support from its insurer partners to achieve the growth that is now being reflected in the income statement.

Better placed than most

“Going forward, we are also better placed than most to take advantage of these more realistic asset values having achieved almost all of our growth organically and without incurring any structural debt. Such debt as the Group carries is for the purpose of providing premium finance capacity. The ongoing growth and success of Panacea Finance, our premium finance company, is testament to the business model.

“The Group's lack of structural debt means it is less exposed to the recent financial turbulence and with current asset values now more realistic, we are seeing some interesting opportunities.

“Insurance broking continues to form the core of our business as we provide both personal and commercial lines products to our customers through both on-line and off-line sales channels.