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Latitude delivers 500% increase on profit

The $2.3 billion lending business, Latitude Group Holdings announced its half year results on Monday, delivering a Statutory NPAT of $89.5 million, up 524%, thanks to strong volume growth.

Total volume excluding the significantly COVID-impacted travel and international category grew strongly by 11% on the prior comparative period, with particularly with particularly strong growth in Lending across both personal and auto loans. Total personal and auto loan volumes up 37% on the pcp, including 35% in Australia and 46% in New Zealand. Instalments volumes were up 3% led by a strong performance in New Zealand, while Australian volumes were driven by continued consumer demand in the home segment and domestic scheme spending, offset by periods of store closures during lockdowns

Cost reduction of 10.5% in line with the company’s first half guidance driven by a simplification program whilst maintaining growth-related investments, helped contribute to the final result.

The LatitudePay (BNPL) customer base grew 73% on PCP to 458,000 open accounts, and ~2,000 new merchant partners activated, with significant new merchant growth in the pipeline, while a successful pilot launch of LatitudePay+, will allow BNPL customers to make bigger purchases of up to $10,000 using LatitudePay, with the wider release scheduled for October 2021. They also commenced development of six-month interest free shopping on the Latitude GO Mastercard as part of the Future of Interest Free program

Latitude also confirmed it settled the refinancing of $1.038 billion Australian Personal Loans Warehouse Facility and established a new $1.056 billion Australia and New Zealand Sales Finance and Credit Cards Warehouse to replace an existing cards warehouse facility.

Managing Director and CEO Ahmed Fahour said: “This is a strong result that delivers cash NPAT just above the top end of guidance of $120 million for 1H21. The 37% volume growth in our personal and auto lending business across both Australia and New Zealand was particularly pleasing. Latitude is now the number two originator of new personal loans in Australia and one of the leaders in New Zealand.“

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