‘Cautious optimism’ at financial services specialist as markets recover

Jason Walsh

Group revenue from continuing operations at Leeds-headquartered CPP Group increased by 10% to £66.4m  for the six months ended 30 June 2021 as the CEO says he is looking to the future with “cautious optimism”.

The revenue increase was driven by  growth within India where the business saw a 15% increase in ongoing revenue, while other markets including EU hub saw revenues drop. It was noted that increased sales within the Indian market came from the firm’s Mobile and LivCare products and growth within the Card Protection renewal book.

CPP also noted that its Indian business process management company which it owns a 51% stake in, Globiva, was largely not impacted by the escalation of Covid-19 during the second quarter and had seen monthly revenues return to pre-pandemic levels.

Despite the increase in revenue, the business, which provides personal protection and insurance products and services, posted a reported loss before tax from continuing operations of £0.7m (H1 2020: £0.5m profit) in its half year results.

The business has focused on future opportunities, disposing of its German card protection legacy business for £2.4m while establishing an IT team in its Indian business to build its new customer platform

CPP has also restructured its Mexico operations and closed its Malaysia business units in line with the Group’s commitment to maximise value from its assets and focus on the areas with the strongest prospects.

Jason Walsh, CEO, said: “The first half of 2021 was a similar story to that of 2020, with a strong first quarter tempered by the negative effects of Covid-19 in the second, particularly in our main market of India.

“Nonetheless, we have adapted well across our markets and delivered a solid overall performance on the corresponding period last year.

“As Covid-19 measures have eased in India, we have seen a progressive recovery in trading in the region with strong progress since the end of June. However, we remain cognisant of the need to monitor the situation closely as we move through the second half.

“Elsewhere in our key markets, we continue to make progress. Our performance in Turkey at a local level was particularly pleasing, driven in large part by our expanded network of partners in the territory.

“However, the continuing devaluation of the lira has largely negated this performance at a Group level.

“In the UK and EU we continued to build on strong foundations to develop an innovative, differentiated and integrated business with compelling prospects.

Looking ahead Walsh noted that the “pandemic and its knock-on effects will continue to affect the pace” of the firm’s progress within some areas but that “there are signs of a return to a more normal environment”.

Concluding that the recovery seen in India and  the firm’s proven ability to innovate in collaboration with partners as well as “favourable macro trends”, means “the Board believes the Company is trading broadly in line with market expectations for the full year with the outlook being positive for the remainder of the year”.