Independent Financial Advice and Wealth Management specialist, Lighthouse Group (AIM:LGT) reported a rise in group revenues, but a sharp drop in like for like revenues as the UK’s credit crunch continued to curtail growth in the financial services industry.
Shares in Lighthouse Group fell after the company reported preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2008. Total group revenues climbed to £1.5 million to £54.4 million, but the figure was massaged by the contribution from Sumus Plc, which merged with Lighthouse Group in May 2008. Stripping out the acquisition, like for like sales fell 26%.
Lighthouse also reported impairment charges of £9 million which pushed the company to a pre-tax loss of £8.5 million. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (‘EBITDA’) fell to £0.55 million (2007: £2.46 million). The final dividend was also cut, but the company said that it was hoping to reinstate the dividend policy at its interim results.
On a more positive note, Lighthouse Group ended the year with approximately £12 million in cash and zero debt, and reiterated that its strong balance sheet put it in a stronger position that many of its peers.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2009, the Independent Financial Advisor reported that it continues to trade profitably and generate surplus cash. Revenues are expected to relatively flat in the current financial year.