A major broking franchise has seen its best ever interim result amid a strong property market and the sale of one of its businesses.
Mortgage Choice has announced a net profit after tax of $9.7m for the six months to 31 December 2013. The result is a 28.5% increase on the first half of the year. Taking into account the business' sale of aggregation arm LoanKit to Finsure, that profit jumps to $11m, a 46.4% increase on the first half of 2013.
Mortgage Choice also saw a rise in its total loan book, with its portfolio hitting $46.4bn, up from $44.4bn at 31 December 2012. Home loan approvals for the company rose 21.6%, while settlements were up 18.8%. CEO Michael Russell predicted an improving property market would see the brokerage's loan settlements continue to grow in 2014.
“To see more than 20% growth in our approval numbers in comparison to this time last year is a pleasing reward for our franchise network who have worked tirelessly in the face of challenging market conditions since 2008. On top of that, to see almost 19% growth in our settlement numbers is equally rewarding. Moving forward, with interest rates sitting at historical lows and lenders competing hard for new mortgage customers, I am confident that we can improve on these results."
Russell also pointed to the company's recent launch of a financial planning arm, which he said was on target to meet its recruitment goals.
“As for Mortgage Choice Financial Planning, we are currently on track to meet our Mortgage Choice Financial Planning recruitment target of 60 advisers by the end of 2015. Already, we have 25 advisers on board and this number continues to grow every month. The high calibre of advisers we are bringing on board complements our experienced franchise network, so I can safely say we are all excited to see what the future holds for this business,” Russell said.