InvestmentsMar 6 2020

AFH back on acquisition trail

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AFH back on acquisition trail

Advice market consolidator AFH is keen to acquire more businesses as profits in 2019 hit £74.3m and successes have "continued into the first four months of this financial year".

AFH has completed about 50 acquisitions since it listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2014, but in September 2019 the company stated that prevailing economic and political uncertainty meant it would not buy any more firms for the “foreseeable future".

But in the latest trading update from AFH, released to the stock exchange this morning (March 6) the company stated that it has regained its appetite to buy firms. The update covered the 2019 financial year. 

The statement read: “Following a period of consolidation and whilst continuing to focus on cash generation and the organic growth of the business, the group remains open to executing further acquisitions should suitable opportunities present themselves, with a focus on smaller IFAs and larger businesses where the majority of advisers are employed or equity participants in the target company.”

AFH chairman John Wheatley said: “The success of 2019 has continued into the first four months of this financial year with revenues and fund inflows recorded at Q4 2019 levels.

"We expect the growing requirement for professional financial planning to accelerate in the future and for the consolidation within the sector to continue as commercial factors and regulatory requirements encourage a smaller number of larger businesses to dominate the sector.”

The company reported assets under management of £6bn and stated that the advice firm is generating free cashflow, and adjustments made to AFH’s protection business mean that unit is no longer reliant on cashflow from the other business units. 

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