Firm’s EBITDAE rises 11.6% this year

Alex Alway Jelf

Jelf’s profit before tax for the year ending 30 September 2012 was £3.9m, up from £3.2m for last year.

The firm’s revenues across its insurance, financial services and employee benefits arms increased 1.3% to £73m (2011: £72.1m), while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and exceptional items (EBITDAE) rose by 11.6% over the period, from £10.1m to £11.3m.

Earnings per share increased by 23% to 3.2p (2011: 2.6p).

Jelf also announced its maiden dividend of 1.3p per share, to be paid to shareholders in January. Jelf also said it would seek shareholders’ approval to allow the firm to buy back 10% of the company’s issued voting shares, funded by a new debt facility.

Jelf group chief executive Alex Alway said: “Strong trading during 2011-12 has enabled us to increase our income while the EBTIDAE profit margin has improved to 15% (2011: 14%). Trading since 1 October is in line with expectations and we look forward to the progression of the business during the financial year ahead.”

Alway added that the firm had been looking for acquisitions but had not found any that were suitable.

In Jelf’s insurance arm, sales were up 3% to £46.1m (2011: £44.8m). Insurance broking made up 63% of Jelf’s total revenue for the year.

Jelf non-executive chairman Les Owen said: “The past 12 months have been challenging as the hoped-for signs of an upturn in the economy have not so far materialised, our clients have continued to face difficult trading conditions, and our markets remain intensely competitive. It is pleasing therefore that we have continued to grow our business, strengthen our balance sheet and position ourselves for further profitable growth when market conditions do improve.

“Bearing in mind the continuing soft insurance premium rating environment and intense competition at renewal, the 3% increase in Jelf Insurance Brokers revenue represents a good outcome and compares favourably with market growth in our core segments and with the performance of our key competitors. The new London office has made an encouraging start. Our network, The Purple Partnership, continues to grow strongly and had just under 70 member firms in October.”