News

Lowell Group, a UK leader in consumer debt purchase and recovery, today announces interim financial results for the third quarter of its 2014 financial year (1 April 2014 to 30 June 2014).

The Group has maintained its strong performance throughout the financial year to date with continued sustainable and predictable growth in collections, ERC, EBITDA and portfolio acquisitions. Following the recent investment from Teachers’ Private Capital, the Group remains well funded and well positioned in a buoyant marketplace to continue achieving growth and high returns. 

Highlights

  • Diversified acquisitions spend of £36m – £120m year to date, up 15 per cent on same period last year
  • £51m collections in Q3, £184m in last 12 months – up 17 per cent on previous 12 months
  • June 2014 84 month ERC at £654m, up 28 per cent on June 2013
  • Almost half of ERC (£320m) to be collected within 24 months
  • Q3 adjusted EBITDA £33m, up 25 per cent on Q3 2013

Commenting on the results, Colin Storrar, CFO said:

“Q3 was a quarter of strong growth and predictable earnings. All of our key financial metrics have continued to show double digit growth.

“Our ERC, the amount we expect to collect over the next 84 months, has increased to £654 million, a 28 per cent increase on the figure a year ago. Of this total, we expect to collect £320 million, almost half, in the next 24 months.

“Collections of £51 million in Q3 were up 30 per cent on the same period last year, while collections over the last 12 months now total £184 million, a 17 per cent year on year increase.

“EBITDA for the quarter was £33 million, 25 per cent up on the same period last year.  The trend for the year to date is equally strong showing 14 per cent growth in EBITDA from £107 million to £122 million.

“In August we announced that the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Teachers’), through its Teachers’ Private Capital division, has agreed to acquire a significant minority interest in the company, recognising Lowell’s potential for further growth. The involvement of Teachers’ and the continuing support of TDR Capital means that we now have an even greater opportunity to maximise the potential of our business. In summary, we are well positioned in a buoyant and consolidating marketplace.”

Lowell Group, a leader in consumer debt purchase and recovery, announces that the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Teachers’), through its Teachers’ Private Capital division, has agreed to acquire a significant minority interest in the company.  Each of the current investors in Lowell will remain shareholders, each selling a proportionate amount of their current holding. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory clearances and other approvals and consents.

Over the past decade Lowell has established a successful track record of growth. With 14.4 million individual accounts at a face value of £12 billion Lowell is today a recognised leader in a growing market.

Welcoming the Teachers’ investment, James Cornell, CEO of Lowell Group, said:

I am delighted that Teachers’ has recognised the potential in Lowell and agreed to invest significantly in the future of our business.  With the involvement of Teachers’ and the continuing support of TDR Capital we now have an even greater opportunity to build on our success and maximise the potential of the Lowell business.

About Lowell

Lowell Group is a leader in consumer debt purchase and recovery based in the United Kingdom. It is a specialist in buying non-performing consumer debt from a wide range of major creditors, across various industries, including financial services, communications, home retail credit and utilities.  Lowell has acquired in excess of 14.4 million accounts, which represents a significant proportion of the UK’s credit active population and enables it to have a significant understanding of new portfolios.  The company works with its customers, offering realistic, affordable and sustainable payment plans tailored to their individual circumstances.

About Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is the largest single-profession pension plan in Canada, with $140.8 billion in net assets as of December 31, 2013. An independent organization, it invests the pension fund’s assets and administers the defined benefit pensions of 307,000 active and retired teachers in Ontario.  Teachers’ Private Capital is the plan’s private equity investing arm. Over the last 20 years, Teachers’ has invested in excess of CAN$20 billion in private equity. Teachers’ has been active in Europe since 1992 and has a European investment portfolio of approximate CAN$5 billion. For more information visit www.otpp.com. Follow us on Twitter @OtppInfo.

About TDR Capital

TDR Capital is a private equity firm with over €4.8 billion of commitments under management. Based in London, TDR Capital focuses on mid-market buyout investments headquartered in or with significant operations in Europe.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms “believes, ‟estimates”, ‟anticipates”, “expects, ‟intends”, ‟may”, ‟will” or “should” or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts and include statements regarding Lowell Group or its affiliates’ intentions, beliefs or current expectations concerning, among other things, Lowell Group or its affiliates’ results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and the industries in which they operate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that Lowell Group or its affiliates’ actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industries in which they operate may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. In addition, even if Lowell Group or its affiliates’ results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industries in which they operate are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods.

Lowell Group plans to publish its interim financial results for the third quarter 2014 (1 Apr–30 Jun 14) on the investment section of the Lowell Group website on the morning of Friday 29th August 2014. Access is by request via the following link:

http://www.lowellgroup.co.uk/index.php/investors

 

TELECONFERENCE – In addition, at 13.00hrs BST (12.00hrs GMT) on Friday 29th August, 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:

 

http://emea.directeventreg.com/registration/78452291

 

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’s strong financials continue through Q2 2014 

Lowell Group, a UK leader in consumer debt purchase and recovery, today announces interim financial results for the second quarter of its 2014 financial year (1 January 2014 to 31 March 2014).

The Group has maintained its strong start to the financial year with continued sustainable and predictable growth in collections and ERC, a record acquisition spend in the quarter, and the successful offering of a £115m bond. As a result, the Group is well funded and positioned in a market which continues to present strong opportunities within its core sectors. 

Highlights

  • Diversified origination strategy key to successful quarter of acquisitions – £54m
  • £113m portfolio purchases for FY14 already committed, 92 per cent of FY13 total
  • Well-funded to achieve further growth as a result of successful £115m bond offering
  • Strong results continue
    • £49m collections in Q2, £172m in last 12 months – up12 per cent on previous 12 months
    • March 2014 84 month ERC at £623m, up £155m (33 per cent) on March 2013
    • Underlying cash conversion strong with projected 49 per cent of ERC (£304m) to be collected within 24 months
    • £32m adjusted EBITDA in Q2, £117m in last 12 months – up 8 per cent on previous 12 months
  • Successfully moved to new expanded HQ and northern operations centre in Leeds

Commenting on the results, Colin Storrar, CFO said:

“Q2 has seen Lowell maintain its record of financial prudency, strong growth, high returns and predictable earnings. A highlight has been our acquisition spend, something enabled by our highly diversified origination strategy. Our spend of £54 million takes our committed year to date position to £113 million. As context, this is 92 per cent of what we spent in the entirety of last year and indicative of the strong market conditions.

“It is important to note that 95 per cent of our purchases in Q2 were with repeat clients in sectors we know well, ensuring predictability and sustainability in performance. And these are high return areas.

“Our Interlaken acquisition continues to bear fruit – many of the portfolios acquired have been secured as a result of the competitive advantages and complementary skills Interlaken brings including expertise in litigation, higher balance financial services and government debt.

“This positive picture is set to continue with strong growth opportunities across all our core sectors, financial services, communications and home retail credit. Also, there are clear signs of opportunities in utilities and government debt coming to market in the near future.

“And importantly, as a result of our recent successful £115 million bond offering, which we completed in March we remain well-placed to maximize on these opportunities.

“Turning to operational performance we have continued our strong track record. Our ERC, the amount we expect to collect over the next 84 months, has increased to £623 million, a 33 per cent increase on the figure a year ago. And significantly we expect to collect £304 million (49 per cent) of this ERC in the next 24 months, which highlights the liquidity of our business.

“At £49 million, collections in Q2 were up nine per cent on the same period last year, while collections over the last 12 months have totalled £172 million, which represents a 12 per cent year on year increase.

“In terms of EBITDA the year on year trend is a strong one showing 8 per cent growth from £108 million to £117 million.

“We continue to be extremely focused upon Governance and Compliance as we move into the world of FCA regulation. And, last but not least, it is important to mention one other event which took place in the quarter. We successfully moved our Group headquarters and northern operations centre into a new building in Leeds, whilst maintaining a seamless customer and client service. Our new building is twice as big as our previous offices, giving us plenty of headroom for future growth.”

Lowell Group plans to publish its interim financial results for the second quarter 2014 (1 Jan -31 Mar 14) on the investment section of the Lowell Group website on the morning of Thursday 22nd May 2014. Access is by request via the following link:

http://www.lowellgroup.co.uk/index.php/investors

 

TELECONFERENCE – In addition, at 13.00hrs BST on Thursday 22nd May, 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:

 

http://emea.directeventreg.com/registration/32547682

 

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