Lowell Group, a UK leader in consumer debt purchase and recovery, announces that it has changed its accounting reference date and financial year end from 31 August to 30 September. The Board has taken this decision to align the Company’s external reporting quarters with the more usual calendar quarters.

As a result of this change, the Company’s reporting calendar will be as follows:

  • Unaudited results for the fourth quarter ending 31 August 2013 to be announced on Thursday 17 October
  •  Audited results for the 13 month period to 30 September 2013 to be announced before 28 January 2014

The new accounting reference date will also be applied to the recently acquired Interlaken Group, facilitating one single reporting calendar across the wider Lowell corporate entity.

Access to Lowell Group’s Q4 2013 Unaudited Financial Results Announcement

Lowell Group’s unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter 2013 (1 June-31 August 2013) will be published on the investment section of the Lowell Group website at 9.00am on Thursday 17 October. Access is by request via the following link:

TELECONFERENCE – In addition, at 1.00pm on Thursday 17 October, Lowell Group’s CEO, James Cornell, and CFO, Colin Storrar, plan to hold an audio conference presentation on the company’s performance.

To access this audio conference, participants will need to register in advance at:

They will then be allocated the conference call number, a participant user pin, conference pin and instructions on how to join the conference call.


Lowell Group, a UK leader in consumer debt purchase and recovery, today announces a strong set of interim financial results for the third quarter 2013 (1 March 13 – 31 May 13) delivering growth across assets and earnings.

• Continued growth across key financial metrics
• Acquisition of Interlaken group providing significant potential for further expansion
• Continued strong market dynamics and portfolio purchase pipeline

Financial Performance as at 31 May
• Estimated remaining collections (ERC) of £473.2 million, up 24% since May 31, 2012
• Adjusted EBITDA of £28.4 million in the quarter, up 14% compared with Q3 2012
• Collections of £39.9 million in the quarter, up 11% compared with Q3 2012
• Strong Unlevered Net IRR on portfolios owned of 22.4% (35.5% after deducting collection activity costs only)

Operational Performance
• Portfolio purchases of £19.3 million in the quarter, with a record £30.3 million achieved in June taking ERC to £512.7 at 30 June 2013
• Spending and committed portfolio purchases as at June 2013 now in excess of £110 million for FY13
• Account base tops 11 million for the first time and Lowell now has a relationship with 8 million individual customers
• Purchase of Interlaken Group completed May 16, 2013 – funded entirely through cash
• Forward flow arrangements continue to provide greater certainty of spend – over 50% of total spend in the quarter came from forward flow arrangements

Commenting on the results, Colin Storrar, CFO, said:
“I’m pleased to report that today’s results continue our solid track record of delivery. Our sustained financial strength is once again evident with growth across all key performance metrics underpinned by strong ERC, collections and EBITDA, with significant liquidity resources available to support further growth.

“ERC was £473 million by the end of the quarter and increased further to £512.7 million by the end of June 2013, up 33% on prior year. Adjusted EBITDA in the quarter was £28 million, up 14% on the same period last year, and we achieved £39.9 million of collections, up 11% on last year.
“In terms of portfolio acquisitions, we continue to benefit from strong client relationships, with 25% of spot purchases coming from ‘off market’ transactions in the quarter. Portfolio purchases in the quarter were £19.3 million and we followed this up with a record month in June where we saw acquisitions of over £30 million. As a result, our customer account base has topped 11 million for the first time. Forward flow arrangements also continue to provide greater certainty of spend, with over 50% of total spend in the quarter coming from this type of arrangement.

“Whilst increasing our diversification, we have also successfully maintained our financial services and communications market positions. And, as part of our drive to increase our competitive positioning across all debt types and balances, as well as build on our existing core strengths in data-driven collections, we successfully acquired 100% equity of the Interlaken Group and its subsidiaries Fredrickson International Limited and SRJ Debt Recoveries Limited.

“Importantly, this deal also facilitates the Group’s strategic move into the emerging sector of Government debt, an area with significant growth opportunity.

“We plan to run Interlaken as a standalone debt collection operation. We believe running the business in this way is key to maintaining the integrity of independent client relationships whilst still leveraging common sector knowledge and transferable collections skills.

“Looking to the future, we are well positioned to convert what continues to be a strong pipeline of opportunities, with a number of large financial services debt sales expected in the next six months and further opportunities continuing across communications and home retail. We remain committed to ongoing pricing discipline and will continue to focus on low balance non performing debt portfolios while also diversifying into new debt types and higher balance portfolios enabled by our Interlaken acquisition. Furthermore, the partnership with Interlaken means we are now better placed than ever to maximise the potential of our value accretive service and enhance existing client propositions. The management teams at Lowell and Interlaken are relishing the prospect of working together to execute the growth strategy of the newly enlarged Lowell Group.”

• Progression of successful partnership brings market leading collection businesses together to offer fully integrated solutions bringing additional strength and value-added services to clients
• Each business unit to operate separately, continuing to develop bespoke skills and specialisms
• Shared commitment to compliance, performance, innovation, investment in people and client relationships

Lowell Group, a leading purchaser of non-performing consumer debt portfolios in the United Kingdom, has today announced the acquisition of Interlaken Group, including its widely known Fredrickson International brand. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see ownership of the Surrey-based debt collection agencies group transfer to Lowell Group, along with the 300 plus employees. It is a union of two well-established innovators in the debt recovery industry in the United Kingdom.

The two companies have worked together successfully over many years. Both are widely recognised as leaders in their respective fields, sharing a commitment to compliance, developing market-leading technologies and investing in their people, as well as forming strategic partnerships with clients in order to drive long-term value.

Recognising the importance of maintaining and developing the intellectual property of both businesses, Lowell Group intends to run its operations and the operations of the Interlaken Group separately, in order for each group to continue to develop its bespoke specialisms and skills. At the same time, the combined group will seek to develop and realise its range of value added services, enhancing its all-round client proposition. The combined group will also benefit from economies of scale and sharing of best practice.

The move follows Lowell Group’s initial entry into contingent collections in January 2011 when it set up an ‘outsource to sell’ operation, Lowell Preston (Tocatto). It was set up as a research and development hub, offering clients the chance to work with the Lowell Group on a commission basis initially, before committing to a full debt sale and supporting decisions on pricing and strategies. However, it became much more of a strategic benefit for both the Lowell Group and its partner clients. Its success demonstrated the size and potential of the opportunity to operate distinct and separate debt collection and debt purchase businesses under one umbrella company, providing the rationale for today’s deal.

Commenting on the deal, James Cornell, Lowell Group CEO said:
“We have always respected the Interlaken Group as market-leaders in their field and are very excited about the opportunities to be gained from bringing the two businesses together. Our move into contingent collections in 2011 helped us realise the potential of today’s deal; the opportunity to deliver best-in-class service to our clients whether it be through contingent collections or debt purchase. Through our partnership we will also be able to provide long-term value to our clients by delivering new, creative and innovative solutions beyond debt collection and debt purchase, and offer a ‘one-stop’ shop of services to drive operating profit and balance sheet objectives of our clients.”

James continued:

“There is plenty of synergy in terms of clients, sector experience and skills and also plenty of opportunities for each business to expand into new areas and learn from each other. Fredrickson International, for example, are highly skilled across all debt and balance types, whilst Lowell’s strengths have traditionally been in lower balance accounts. Lowell will also be sharing its strength in data analysis and tracing to help boost collections performance in the new businesses.

“With many clients seeking value beyond contingent collections or debt purchase activities, the combination of Lowell and Interlaken will enable us to deliver integrated solutions on a far larger and more advanced scale.

“Interlaken has a strong track record and 17 year history, but importantly we also have a shared belief about what makes our businesses strong – our people, practices and technologies. Not only are we an excellent fit culturally, both taking pride in family values, but we each bring a range of complementary skills and experience. The initial reaction from clients is supportive of our approach, which is hugely encouraging as we build and develop more strategic client relationships. Following this deal, Lowell will be even better placed to deliver on our clients’ needs with new and innovative solutions as we continue to develop the intellectual property we hold in each business.”

James Cornell also stressed that this will not become an exclusive relationship and both parties will continue to work with existing partners across the debt recovery industry.

Simon Jones, Group Managing Director of Interlaken Group, and Roy Jones, Group Chairman, founded Fredrickson International in 1992 and the Interlaken Group in 1996. Their decision to stand down from the Group preceded today’s deal. Simon will remain with the business in the short-term to ensure a smooth transition.

Simon Jones commented:
“Today is the end of an era. Roy and I are exceptionally proud of the company we have built together. Since we established the Interlaken Group 17 years ago we have gone from employing just a handful of people to over 300 people today with annual collections now exceeding £100m.

“We are delighted to pass the reins across to the Lowell Group. We hand them a company with a strong leadership team, talented and dedicated staff, an enviable client base, the highest standards of compliance and ethics and an exceptionally strong performance. We could not think of a better company to take our business forward and take it to the next level.

“We would like to thank our staff and clients for all their support and trust during the past 20 years. We wish all concerned the very best of luck for the future.”

Frank Hanafin, Group Commercial Director, Interlaken Group, will remain with the Interlaken Group.

Frank commented:
“Like Lowell, we’ve never been short of ideas to innovate, develop and grow our business. What the combined group will bring is the funding and investment to help us realise these ambitions and continue to grow. Importantly, by joining forces with Lowell we are confident that we will be able to continue to deliver the best possible levels of service and performance in contingent collections and forge stronger more effective partnerships with our clients.

“Being a family business, we have naturally deliberated extensively about the best option for the future. We recognise that Lowell shares our approach to people, compliance, ethics and the technologies and data systems that underpin each of our businesses, which makes this combination the best option for our businesses, our people and our clients.”

Lowell Group, a UK leader in consumer debt purchase and recovery, today announces its interim financial results for the second quarter 2013 (1 December 12 – 28 February 13).

• Collections of £42.7 million in the quarter, up 35% compared to Q2 2012
• Portfolio purchases of £41.5 million in the quarter, up 95% compared with Q2 2012
• Adjusted EBITDA of £30.0 million in the quarter, up 34% compared with Q2 2012
• Continued strong Unlevered Net IRR on portfolios owned as at 28 February 2013 of 22.4% (35.7% after collection activity costs)
• Continued deleveraging – LTV reduced from 57% at bond issuance to 44% as at February 28, 2013
• Cash flow conversion remains consistently over 90% for all periods
• Estimated remaining collections (ERC) of £458.3 million, up 29% since February 29, 2012
• £75 million additional bond placement successfully realised on February 11, 2013

Commenting on the results, Colin Storrar, CFO, said:
“Our sustained financial strength is once again evident with continued strong growth across all our key performance metrics; strong collections performance, growing economies of scale, strong portfolio acquisitions and improving EBITDA. All of this contributes to an increasingly strong balance sheet position with improvements in our funding ratios, strong cash reserves and increasing ERC.

“Moreover, the additional £75 million bond placement, which we completed in February, puts the Group in a very strong position to take advantage of strong market opportunities and enhance its growth going forward

“Adjusted EBITDA was £30.0 million, up 34% on the same period last year, and we achieved £42.7 million of collections, up 35% on last year. It was also an excellent quarter for portfolio purchases, up 95%. With these recent acquisitions we now have some 10.8 million customer accounts with a face value of £9.8 billion.

“The result of this continued strong all round performance is that ERC, which underpins the balance sheet value of our debt portfolios, has increased 29% over the last 12 months to £458.3 million.

“I am also pleased to report that performance in March, the last full reportable month of performance, has continued in the same positive vein. We spent £8.3 million on portfolio acquisitions during the month taking our year-to-date spend on portfolios to £64.5 million, 68% higher than the figure for the same period last year. At the end of March our ERC now stands at £468.2 million, up £9.9 million on the previous month, and more than £100 million up on the previous year.

“Compliance, as ever, continues to be of paramount importance. We have initiated a series of client consultation days to share best practice and are well advanced in our preparations for regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority, which starts in April 2014. We are totally focused on the need to deliver fair customer outcomes through sustainable individual solutions and one measure of success is that default rates are reducing.

“We continue to invest in our systems to further develop our competitive advantage and during the quarter we introduced further improvements to our already market-leading in-house trace system.

“Looking to the future we have a very strong pipeline for future acquisitions and following the recent £75 million bond tap we are well-placed to take advantage of these opportunities.

“We continue to diversify into ‘un-tapped’ opportunities in new sectors and are focusing on government, utilities and insurance. We also continue to harness our skills and expertise to deliver value added services that develop our strategic relationships and facilitate further growth opportunities. To put the importance of this into context, of the £41.5 million acquisition spend during the quarter, two thirds had an element of value added services in our proposal.

“Our core markets are performing well, we are well placed to maximise opportunities to enter new sectors, and we are excited about our opportunities to develop value added services to enhance our existing client propositions.”