Consolidation plans follow concerted revenue repairs

Manchester-based broker CBG has returned to the hunt for acquisitions after a year of cost-cutting across the group.

In 2009, the broker’s revenue fell to £8.96m from £11.15m in 2008 and adjusted pre-tax profits also fell, from £2.25m to £1.02m.

However, the broker announced that after a series of measures to reduce its costs, including about 40 redundancies and outsourcing its premium finance to Close Premium Finance, it had saved about £1.4m.

Group managing director Mike Askew revealed that the broker – which last made an acquisition in April 2008 – was now ready to consolidate in the North West.

He said: “We are back champing at the bit, wanting to do some acquisitions to start repairing the revenue slump.

“We took our medicine when we needed to take it. As a management team we were not afraid to deal with that.”

CBG currently has three offices in the North West – in Manchester, Liverpool and Macclesfield – and Askew said it is targeting brokers that have turnovers of up to £2m.

Meanwhile, CBG chairman Laurie Turnbull is standing down after five years. He will be replaced by non-executive director Robin Slinger.

In addition, Stuart Mollekin, currently executive director, becomes a non-executive director, and Stephen Rees, managing director of the group’s financial services division, is appointed financial services operations director.