CountPlus maintains growth focus and a 20% dividend increase to shareholders

CountPlus has today released its 2021 Full Year Annual Results, announcing an increase in dividends, core firm earnings growth, further progress in transitioning Count Financial to a clean operating model and a strong balance sheet to fund future growth.

CEO and Managing Director Matthew Rowe said a solid EBITA result of $11.946 Million and NPAT of $7.444 Million was achieved despite a complex operating environment.

“Our strategic growth focus was maintained with nine tuck-in acquisitions made and seven transactions within the Owner, Driver-Partner (OD-P) model. The acquisition of complementary paraplanning and administration business, Wealth Axis, was also executed during the period and we have seen an increase in annual recurring revenue of 40% in this business since June,” Mr Rowe said.

A final fully franked dividend of 1.50 cents per share has been declared by the Board, a 20% increase on last year.

“The Company is in a strong financial position, reporting a strengthened balance sheet with net cash of $21.911 Million. We remain focused on future growth opportunities within the accounting and financial advice sector and complementary services in Australia,” Mr Rowe said.

He said CountPlus has carefully managed its balance sheet to remain in a solid position for future opportunities in the dislocating financial advice sector.

“I thank our member firms and team members for their significant efforts to assist our small and medium sized business clients and families during the difficulties of the pandemic.”

Count Financial

The company has seen the second-half impact of the transition of Count Financial to its new ‘clean’ user pays model without grandfathered rebate revenue.

Count Financial now operates wholly as a fee-based, user-pays licensee supported by a leading, client-centric value proposition.

“This new ‘clean’ model is resonating with those financial advisers that have stayed the course with us as well as those looking to join Count Financial. We are not subsidised through product distribution as our ‘product’ is financial advice,” Mr Rowe said.

Count Financial onboarded 57 new financial advisers during the year to June 30, 2021.

“We are delighted to attract high-quality advisers to Count Financial, and the pipeline for professional practitioners, firms and partners is strong.”

Count Financial continues to deliver productivity and efficiency gains to its financial adviser community. Average gross business earnings per financial adviser at the time Count Financial was acquired by CountPlus was circa $183,000.

As at year-end this was $298,000. Count Financial has also made significant investment to repurpose its technology stack and user systems. This has made a positive impact on Count Financial firms measured by cost-reduction, efficiency and productivity improvements, simpler administration processes and better-quality assurance outcomes.

“Our financial advisers are now producing, on average, 57% more advice documents than they did last year,” Mr Rowe said.

“The Company has an opportunity to further invest in financial advice at a time when major institutional players have exited at significant cost to their reputation and balance sheets,” he concluded.

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