Fexco operating profit rises 9.5% as Goodbody sale talks continue

Total income up 11% to €236m at Kerry-based group

Fexco employs more than 2,400 people. Photograph: iStock

Fexco employs more than 2,400 people. Photograph: iStock

 

Kerry-based financial services Fexco reported on Wednesday its operating profit rose by 9.5 per cent to €17.5 million last year, with income growing across all divisions of the group, which specialises in payments and foreign exchange.

Total income increased by 11 per cent to €236 million, while net assets edged up to €352.6 million at the end of the year from €324.7 million for the close of 2017, it said.

“We continue to reinvest in our core business, and to drive growth through innovation and acquisitions to expand our position as a global fintech business,” said chief executive Denis McCarthy. “We retain a strong and conservatively managed balance sheet that means we have the capability to pursue further growth opportunities when they arise.”

The results come as Fexco is in the middle of fresh talks to sell its 51 per cent stake in Goodbody Stockbrokers, having acquired an initial 75 per cent stake in the Dublin-based securities firm from AIB in 2011 in a deal worth €24 million. Goodbody management and staff have since increased their holding to 49 per cent under an incentive scheme tied to that deal.

Fexco and Goodbody management are currently weighing bids from rival brokerage firm Davy, Irish Life and Bank of China for the business, after an agreement to sell the business to a Chinese consortium last year for €150 million fell through earlier this year.

Fexco, based in Killorglin, Co Kerry, employs more than 2,400 people and plans to open a new research and innovation centre in the global headquarters early next year.

Metamo launch

Recent developments at the company have seen it launch Metamo, a 50:50 joint venture between 16 of Ireland’s largest credit unions and Fexco, in July. Metamo will support credit union viability and sustainability through the provision of a modernised suite of financial products.

In March, an agreement was reached with the Aviation Working Group (AWG) for Fexco to develop and operate the global electronic aviation trading system e-ledger (GATS) for the aircraft leasing and financing industry to simplify the business of selling aircraft which are subject to lease agreements.

Fexco’s key retail foreign exchange business now manages 150 branches and a further 900 agency and franchise locations, following the acquisition of Thomas Exchange Group in August 2018. The company has further growth ambitions for this business which it will achieve through the establishment of new strategic partnerships, it said.