Appreciate Group is a specialised financial services business and is the UK’s leading provider of multi-retailer redemption products. Consumers can access products directly through its market-leading Christmas Savings offering while corporate customers use these products to supply a range of incentive and reward products.
FY21 results remained positive despite a significantly negative impact from the pandemic and business transformation, with the usual strong seasonal rebound to profitability in H2. PBT of £1.3m included exceptional costs of c £1.1m and c £1.9m net of non-recurring losses in respect of discontinued business as part of the strategic repositioning programme. Excluding these, adjusted PBT was c £4.2m. H221 underlying billings increased 5.7% y-o-y (vs a 28.8% y-o-y decline in H121) with December a record month, and including exceptionally strong growth in higher margin digital product. For the seasonally less significant Q122, billings were well ahead of Q121 but c 9% down on Q120. Management expects a pick-up as corporate customers focus once more on employee engagement and customer acquisition and as consumers return to the shops. With the Christmas savers orders for the current year already in place, pandemic-restricted agent activity is the main contributor to a c 14% y-o-y order book decline.
The market is estimated at c £6bn by the UK Gift Card & Voucher Association, and is fragmented, providing significant opportunities for market share growth.