Placing IQED into run-off has impacted 2019’s financial figures, but the business’s broking activity is showing positive growth

Broking business Brightside has published its financial results for the year ending December 2019, reporting adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £5m – a £570,000 drop compared to 2018.

However, excluding IQED – the medical reporting business that Brightside is winding down – EBITDA grew by £100,000 between 2018 and 2019 to reach £3.9m.

Total revenue for 2019 was also impacted by IQED’s exit, falling from £36.1m in 2018 to £35.7m last year.

Discounting IQED, Brightside’s revenue improved by 16% year-on-year to £32.4m – this compromises £24.5m from insurance broking activities, £3.3m from medical reporting and £0.8m from other ancillary revenues.

The group’s loss before tax was £9.25m, reflecting exceptional costs such as depreciation and amortisation (£3.94m), the run-off of MGA Kitsune (£3.0m), strategic investment (£1.6m) and restructuring (£2.3m).

Commercial gross written premium (GWP) remained steady for 2019 at £53m – Brightside’s commercial business, which includes One Insurance Solution, now forms more than 40% of its group GWP, which grew 18% in 2019 to £125m, versus £106m in 2018.

The business attributes this to improvements to the panel for private car insurance, under the Brightside Car brand.

Policy sales at Brightside’s broking business Budget Insurance Services (BISL) grew by 26% in 2019, to just over 231,000. This consists of a 66% uptick in car policy sales, a 21% improvement in van policy sales and an 11% increase in bike policy sales.

Brightside chief executive Brendan McCafferty said: “The key message from our results is our book growth, which accelerated through the whole of last year.

“New business acquisition costs don’t help our profits for 2019, but we expect to benefit in future years as the book growth flows through following investment in technology and people.”