Chief executive David Ross described 2019 as ‘a significant point in our history’

Independent broker The Ardonagh Group has reported a 66.4% increase in its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for 2019, rising from £110.3m in 2018 to £183.4m last year.

These figures form part of the firm’s year-end results, published yesterday.

The adjusted EBITDA includes monies pertaining to discontinued operations, restructuring costs, business transformation costs, legacy costs, regulatory costs, acquisition and financing costs as well as the profit or loss on the disposal of businesses or investments.

The broker’s income has also improved, growing by 26.6% between 2018 and 2019. Last year, Ardonagh achieved a £667.5m income compared to £527.1m in 2018.

Operating costs, on the other hand, have increased by 16.1%, moving from £416.9m in 2018 to £484.1m in 2019.

Overall, the firm further recorded a 3% growth in organic income.

Ardonagh chairman John Tiner said: “Ardonagh’s resolute commitment to achieving operational efficiency, growing new areas of the business and effectively integrating accretive acquisitions shines through in the substantial profitable growth reported in 2019.

“As the investment in transformational spend drew to a close as planned, underlying profitability has risen sharply with reported EBITDA up by 288% to £115.3 million and adjusted EBITDA rising by 66% to £183.4 million. The group finished the year with a liquidity position of £181.7m.

“Our highly diversified product portfolio, scale, efficiency and flexible operating platforms limits our reliance on any single part of the UK economy, leaving us in a in a strong position from which to weather the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Insurance broking is an essential sector and the need for trusted risk advice is more important than ever. In these uncertain times, we remain very confident in the strength and resilience of our business.”

Platform results

The majority of Ardonagh’s platform portfolios also reaped good financial results for 2019, with its advisory and retail divisions both reporting income growth – of 10.2% and 71.1% respectively.

The broker attributed the steep income boost in its retail business to the acquisition of Swinton, now a fully integrated part of the firm. The deal completed in December 2018.

Ardonagh’s specialty platform, however, recorded a 3% drop in income.

In terms of adjusted EBITDA, in 2019 this was £69m for the advisory platform, £98.4m for retail and £30.9 for specialty.

Gross written premium (GWP) in 2019 amounted to £3bn; Ardonagh had around 4m policies under management last year.

David Ross, chief executive at Ardonagh, added: “Ardonagh has become an established force in the market. The last year has seen a continued focus on execution and delivery of our strategy, one which has been fully affirmed by the group’s major shareholders decision to increase their holdings via a £92 million investment in May.

“2019 has been a significant point in our history as we shifted from building a core platform to capitalising on the opportunities its creation has enabled.

“2019 already seems like a long time ago. As we look ahead to a period of domestic and global uncertainty, all the work that has taken place since the formation of the group to upgrade our systems, diversify our business and connect our people and clients leaves us well positioned to adapt and remain resilient.

“We will continue to serve our clients however we best can.”