Mortgage Choice will make its first foray into financial planning in the next financial year.
Announcing the company's half-yearly results, chief executive Michael Russell said Mortgage Choice would "transition to the final stage of its diversification strategy" in the second half of the 2012 financial year, readying for the launch of the company's wealth management arm in the next financial year.
"“In the new financial year we are gearing up to celebrate a number of key milestones during our 20th year in business including the highly anticipated launch of our financial planning business. Our due diligence for the financial planning business has been completed as has our business plan and we have no doubt the timing is right to deliver accessible financial planning solutions to all Australians," Russell said.
The company saw an 8.5% decline in net profit after tax on the second half of 2011, which Russell put down to the performance of comparison site HelpMeChoose.com.au.
"“While HelpMeChoose.com.au did not perform to revenue expectations, and was the prime reason for lower than expected net earnings, we have implemented the necessary changes to remedy this result. Adjustments include a complete management restructure," he said.
In spite of the poor performance of the site, Russell said Mortgage Choice's aggregation arm LoanKit was performing well.
"We have continued to invest in both our acquired businesses. LoanKit is growing to
expectations, with broker numbers increasing by 20% in the six months to 31 December 2011 and
monthly settlements are now in excess of $100m," he said.
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