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Wesleyan pushes ahead with strategic growth plans in 2015

Wesleyan, the mutual financial services provider for doctors, dentists, lawyers and teachers, has announced its results for the year to 31 December 2015.

Strategic Overview
There were two acquisitions that allow Wesleyan to provide a wider range of products and significantly increase customer numbers:
  • Syscap, the UK's leading independent provider of short term business loans, IT leasing and asset finance
  • DPAS, further cementing Wesleyan Group's position as one of the UK's largest providers of practice-branded patient membership plans
  • Implementation of new IT systems to improve customer service and increase efficiency

Craig Errington, Wesleyan's Chief Executive, said: "We have made significant progress in 2015 with our plans to grow the Wesleyan Group, led by the acquisition of two new businesses, Syscap and DPAS. It has enabled us to provide a wider range of commercial products to support our professional customers with their business planning, as well as their personal finance needs.

"The success of Wesleyan Group's subsidiaries are a key part of our growth plans. The acquisition of Syscap means, along with Wesleyan Bank, we provided more than £220 million of commercial loans last year. Similarly, having DPAS in the Group, along with Practice Plan, results in us managing the collection of dental plan payments valued at more than £150 million.

"As part of our drive to deliver first class customer service and increased efficiency, we also made some essential improvements to our IT infrastructure. This included the implementation of a new banking IT system that has been recognised with an industry innovation award."

Performance Overview
  • Society total operating profit¹ of £36.6m (2014: £39.4m)
  • Society new business APV² of £41.3m (2014: £42.2m)
  • Total gross premium income³ £318m (2014: £316m)
  • Assets under management maintained at record £6bn
  • 2.3% gross return on main with profits fund (2014: 6.0%)
  • Practice Plan achieved EBITDA (4) of £4.2m

Mr Errington added: "Operating profit fell slightly short of budget as we had a slow start to 2015, but we took rapid and proactive action and made a significant recovery in the second half of the year. We saw a healthy increase in sales of new life and pensions business, although this was offset by a fall in sales of annuities as a result of the pensions legislation changes.

"Despite a difficult year for the financial markets, our With Profits policyholders continued to benefit from competitive long term payouts. Our With Profits Fund again outperformed both the FTSE 100 and the FTSE All Shares indices, and we remain committed to our strategy of using our financial strength to retain a higher than average equity ratio in order to continue delivering long-term benefits for policyholders in terms of bonuses. This is supported by our record on payouts."

Wesleyan chairman Bryan Jackson CBE said: "In 2015 Wesleyan made significant progress in our transformation and acquisition programmes and enhanced our product range. This included the introduction of new products to allow customers to take advantage of the new Pension Freedoms announced by the Chancellor in the March 2014 Budget, providing greater choice in how customers may take their retirement benefits.

"2016 will be another demanding year as we continue with our plans to grow the business. We recognise the demands this places on our staff and remain hugely appreciative of their continued commitment and dedication.

"This year also sees Wesleyan celebrating its 175th anniversary and we are proud of how far the business has come over this time. We remain committed to our mutual status and this is integral to how we are growing and sustaining Wesleyan to ensure best success for our members, customers, staff and the communities in which we work."

Other highlights for 2015 included:
  • £367,000 was raised for Birmingham Children's Hospital, Wesleyan's chosen charity, in conjunction with staff, customers, suppliers and the hospital, bringing the total to more than £617,000 in three years. The activity was led by the launch of the children's book 'The Unstoppable Maggie McGee', which has sold more than 6,000 copies.
  • Wesleyan recruited its 50th apprentice since 2010 as part of its partnership with Birmingham Metropolitan College.

¹ Total operating profit reflects the internally used underlying operating performance of the Group, excluding short term investment fluctuations.
² Society New Business APV (Annual Premium Value) is calculated by adding the total premiums to be received each year for new regular premium policies and 10% of single premiums received in the year.
³ Society Premium Income is made up of gross premium income related to insurance and investment contracts.
4 Practice Plan figure is 'Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation'.

'WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies.

Wesleyan Assurance Society and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd, Wesleyan Unit Trust Managers Ltd, Practice Plan Ltd and DPAS Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  Advice about investments, insurance and mortgages is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd.

Click for more information about the Wesleyan group of companies.

© 2018 Wesleyan Assurance Society