The boss of one of the industry’s leading aggregators has said its strong FY16 results are a testament to the company’s focus on its broking business.
In a recent trading update to the ASX, Australian Finance Group (AFG) reported a net profit of $22.6 million, approximately 15.1 per cent ahead of its Prospectus forecast of $19.7 million.
Managing director Brett McKeon commented: “For AFG it was a very pleasing training year, it was a year where we saw consumers continue to preference mortgage brokers over traditional means of doing business, and that reflects in our results.
“AFG’s network of brokers provide a vital distribution network delivering greater choice and market competition for consumers and businesses,” he said.
Mr McKeon noted that the ASX-listed aggregator has achieved a record year in the recruitment of high-performing brokers, lifting its broker numbers from just over 2,400 in 2015 to finish the 2016 financial year with over 2,650 active brokers.
“With broker market penetration of the Australian mortgage market now at more than 52 per cent, AFG continues to be systematically important to the Australian banking system,” he said.
Mr McKeon said that the distribution network that AFG’s brokers represent is a “key driver” of growth and opportunity for the company, and “clearly one of choice for Australian consumers”.
AFG’s growth strategy
Chief operating officer David Bailey explained that AFG’s growth strategy will be to protect and grow its residential mortgage book while also continuing to invest in technology.
“We have a scalable platform which will continue to drive cash flows and fund ongoing growth,” he said.
Mr Bailey also pointed to the company’s strategic alliance with international fintech company Biz2Credit Inc, which AFG signed in August this year. AFG said the exclusive agreement will provide access to Biz2Credit’s patented analytics and financial services technology to allow small business borrowers access to a range of options, with faster access to capital.
“We are customising this for the Australian environment and will probably soft launch it in Q2, but it will by fully available by Q3 of FY17,” Mr Bailey explained.