Financial highlights

 

Long term planning is at the heart of our business model. We focus on sustainability so that we can support our customers for the long term.

Efficient, prudent and future-proofed, we've built our financial strategy to last. It embraces:

  • A robust balance sheet and capital reserves that can protect customers against economic impact – and reduce borrowing costs
  • The creation of opportunities – to find more sources of competitive funding and to maintain our excellent credit rating
  • Forging strong partnerships with stakeholders
  • Ensuring our technology is reliable and future-proofed

 

Some key highlights

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2020 overview 

Our strong performance and consistent customer service during the year reflect everyone's commitment and passion throughout very challenging times. We went into the first lockdown in good financial shape, benefitting from the buoyant used car market in the early part of the year.

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In an increasingly uncertain environment for all our customers, we provided automatic six-month lease extensions for those approaching the end of their lease, delivering a reassuring level of security and flexibility. This was received well, and once the market began to move again, we gave people the opportunity to move ahead with their next agreement if they felt safe and ready. The lease extension programme supported our customers and strengthened our rental revenue too. We responded quickly to dealerships reopening and made the most of remarketing opportunities after the first lockdown.

Our commitment to upgrading infrastructure is working very well. It enabled the seamless transition from office to home working and helped us provide a continued service level to our customers. The quality of this service is reflected clearly in customer feedback. The determination to support customers and maintain mobility throughout the year led to our decision to retain our whole team, and we made no use of Government support, such as the furlough scheme. We are truly grateful to each and every one of our people for their tireless work during the pandemic.

 

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In addition to the £50 insurance rebate provided to all our customers, reflecting a reduction in claims while road use was down, we offered further support for those facing financial hardship. On request, these customers could receive an early payment of the Good Condition Bonus, to provide access to cash when people needed it most. This option added a little more financial flexibility without the worry of taking on debt.

 

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Key elements for a tough year

Like other businesses, we faced new and serious challenges during 2020. We're confident that our approach helped us to respond to changing customer needs and operational demands. We balanced:

  • Agile decision-making
  • Robust internal control processes
  • Careful tracking and communication of management decisions

Together, these elements supported good organisational alignment, giving us a blueprint for introducing effective temporary measures, grounded by firm financial and operational control.

Although total revenue was down almost 5% compared with the previous financial year, this reflects the complete market closure experienced between the end of March and June. Once dealerships were open again, we managed a surge in applications and quickly addressed the rise in demand through our effective remarketing programmes, particularly online.