"Anexo (AIM: ANX), the specialist integrated credit hire and legal services provider, today (25th January 2020) provides the following Trading Update in respect of the year ended 31 December 2020 ('FY 2020').
In FY 2020 the Group remained fully operational throughout both nationwide lockdowns and, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue growth has exceeded the Board's expectations. The Group has maintained its strategy of recruiting high-quality staff within its legal division, Bond Turner, and consequently salary and other associated costs have increased during the year. Nevertheless, the Board is pleased to announce that adjusted* profit before tax will be in line with current market expectations.
The number of vehicles on the road in the Group's credit hire division, EDGE, recovered strongly following the lifting of the first lockdown in July and reached record numbers in the second half of 2020 ('H2 2020'). Following the implementation of the second lockdown in early November the number of vehicles on the road once again saw an initial decline, although the monthly totals remain well ahead of those seen in the first half of the year ('H1 2020'). The Board confirms that the average number of vehicles on the road for FY 2020 will exceed that of FY 2019.
The Group has continued to increase the number of litigators within Bond Turner, thereby driving increased case settlements and cash collection relative to investment in new cases. The courts have remained open throughout the second lockdown period, as they were in the first, with settlements continuing where possible via telephone and online hearings. Notwithstanding some inevitable delays in court proceedings as a result of remote operation, the Board is pleased to announce that monthly cash collections rose significantly in Q4 2020 and reached a record high in December. The Leeds office of Bond Turner is now fully operational and staff recruitment continues.
The Group continues to increase the number of cases involved in the legal action against Volkswagen AG (the 'VW Emissions' case). The Group is currently actively engaged on approximately 14,356 claims. As previously announced, all costs associated with marketing and the processing of claims are expensed as incurred; investment in case acquisition in FY 2020 totalled £2.9 million.
Notice of Final Results
The Group will be announcing its Final Results for the year ended 31 December 2020 on Tuesday, 27 April 2021.
The Company is pleased to announce, with immediate effect, the appointment of Saki Riffner, partner and co-founder of DBAY Advisors Limited ('DBAY'), to the Board as a Non-Executive Director.
Funds under the discretionary management of DBAY ('DBAY Funds') currently hold 9.9% of the issued share capital of the Group. Application has been made for the appropriate regulatory approvals from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Solicitors' Regulatory Authority to allow DBAY Funds to acquire an additional 19.1% shareholding in the Group. The Group will provide a further update in due course."