Bellpenny pushed to £5m loss by acquisition costs

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Advice sector consolidator Bellpenny has reported a loss of £5m for the year ending 31 December 2014, almost doubling losses from the previous year.

Bellpenny recorded a loss of £2.7m in 2013, and blamed the worsening result on costs generated by acquisitions, including the £10m purchase of Torquil Clark.

The deals saw assets under management rise from £1.1bn at the end of 2013 to £2.7bn at the end of last year, while intangible assets on the firm’s balance sheet rose from £15.8m to £33.4m.

However, it also meant that Bellpenny paid a total of £12.3m in initial considerations for purchases, with a further £4.3m paid in relation to prior year acquisitions.

By contrast, the firm spent £5.7m on acquisitions in 2013.

In addition, the average monthly number of employees rose from 97 in 2013 to 224 in 2014, meaning that staff costs also increased sharply from £4m to £8.3m.

Since the end of the financial year, Bellpenny has acquired a further eight businesses for a total of £8.5m funded, in part, by £7.5m of share issuance.