Chairman Mark Bower-Dyke says that although the past eight months have been ‘a challenging period’, the broker’s ‘hard work has paid off’

Independent personal lines broker Be Wiser is predicting a steep climb in its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA); its 2020 full-year forecast shows an EBITDA of £2,771,000 compared to a recorded loss of £67,000 in 2019.

These figures form part of Be Wiser’s published results for the eight months to 31 January 2020.

For this reporting period, the broker recorded an income of £15,037,000 – this makes the firm’s 2020 full-year forecast £23,222,000 compared to the £21,816,000 achieved in 2019.

Profit before tax in the eight months to 31 January 2019 was £1,012,000 and EBITDA was £1,375,000. Total premium income amounted to £43,372,000.

In this period, Be Wiser wrote 92,431 policies – the broker forecasts it will write 145,349 policies over the course of 2020. This is an 8,711 increase on the 136,638 policies it wrote in 2019.

Be Wiser further predicts a boost in its profit before tax for 2020. Its full-year 2020 forecast is £2,217,000 compared to the £593,000 loss it recorded last year.

Contributing factors

Chairman Mark Bower-Dyke attributed the broker’s improved figures to streamlining the business and reducing overhead expenditure, creating effective lead generation, strengthening the senior management team, enhancing customer service and forming stronger partnerships with suppliers.

He said: “I am delighted with the strong progress made by Be Wiser during the last eight months, and I [am] confident that we will meet our year-end forecast for expenditure savings and sustainable income growth.

“The improvement in premium income, policy count and brokerage earnings we’ve delivered in the past eight months, and our confidence that we’ll hit our full-year forecast for 2020, demonstrates our successful focus on ensuring our business is agile and efficient and remains a market leader.

“We have made significant advances in technology to future-proof Be Wiser in an industry going through profound technological change. Our position will enable us to continue delivering our ambitious growth plans in a sustainable way.

“This has been a challenging period for the business, but our hard work has paid off.”

Personal lines focus

Bower-Dyke further commented on how data analytics is rocketing the pace of change within the personal lines arena; he said that brokers that take advantage of this type of technology will be “the winners in 2020.”

He continued: “Data analytics driven by technology has altered the nature of the personal lines insurance radically, and the pace of change is accelerating.

“Already, we can enrich data at point of quote to drive better risk selection, but increasingly we can use data analytics to find behaviourial patterns among our customers that we didn’t know existed.”