GLI Finance Loss

GLI Finance Limited posts £16.5m loss

GLI Finance Limited has revealed it made a consolidated loss of £16.5m during 2016.

The AIM-listed alternative finance group owns SME lender Sancus BMS and FinTech Ventures - the latter of which consists of a portfolio of investments in fintech platforms - including crowdlending platform FundingKnight which GLI acquired the remaining shareholdings of in June last year.

Sancus BMS brings together a select number of alternative finance businesses, including Sancus Finance, which was previously known as Platform Black before rebranding in January this year.

The group attributed the consolidated loss for the year to the Sancus Finance and FundingKnight operating losses and goodwill write downs, as well as Fintech Ventures’ fair value reductions.

The results noted that with Sancus Finance being an early stage business it was still loss making, however a key priority for 2017 was to turn around the performance.

“This has been a very difficult year for the group, but one from which our two businesses have emerged more focused and with a more predictable, more positive outlook,” said Patrick Firth, non-executive chairman of GLI Finance.

Andrew Whelan, chief executive officer at GLI Finance, said the goodwill write downs of £4.1m to Sancus Finance and FundingKnight were necessary to recognise the working capital already expended, which would be required before these businesses became profitable.

“2016 was a year when we addressed the challenges facing the business, implemented a much-improved structure, drove revenues while seeking efficiencies and completed the full strategic review which the board approved and I initiated in January 2016.

“2017 is a year when we should see the benefits of the actions we have taken.”

FundingKnight is just one of the fintech platforms which come under Fintech Ventures, which supports and develops other key platforms such as FundingOptions and UK Bond Network.

Andrew went on to add that 2017 would be an important year for its platforms to raise third-party capital to scale their businesses.

“We are confident we will see positive outcomes which could grow some platforms significantly.

“A couple of our platforms have the potential – if they achieve their stated targets – of becoming fintech ‘unicorns’.

“If one of these platforms were to achieve this, the impact on the group would be significant.

“I am excited by the opportunities, which all the hard work of the past year has created for us. 

“2017 should be a much-improved year for the group.”

Meanwhile, Patrick said that following a year during which the promise of some of Fintech Ventures’ platforms began to show and others failed to meet expectations, it was more optimistic for the year ahead.

“The focus in 2017 and beyond will very much be on supporting platforms through strategic input, introductions to external funders and limited provision of finance.

“We expect to see a growth trajectory for the majority of our platforms during 2017, though anticipate that those platforms that fail to reach break-even within the next 12 months will find future funding increasingly challenging.

“We are optimistic that some platforms may reach realisable valuations during the year and the group will seek to take advantage of this.”

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