SimplyBiz reports £5.5m loss

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SimplyBiz has swung to a £5.5m loss for 2014, following a profit of £3.4m in the previous year.

The group says performance was hit by the write down of loans to Sandringham Financial Partners, and a partial impairment of its investment in Staffcare.

SimplyBiz owns a 20 per cent stake in Sandringham, while it acquired Staffcare in 2013.

In its results announcement, the firm says it made a provision of £3.9m against loans owed by joint ventures and associate undertakings, but adds that these were not expected to be recoverable in the near future.

The firm also made a provision of £2.4m against goodwill generated by the acquisition of Staffcare.

However, SimplyBiz says the losses are unlikely to recur.

It says: “These write downs and impairments are one off, exceptional items and do not impact on the overall trading of the group, therefore the group remains in a strong financial position with an Ebitda of £4.2m for the year in review.”

So while the firm made a pre-tax loss of £5.5m, profits from continuing operations were £2.3m, down from £3.4m.

Turnover climbed from £17.6m to £26.8m, but administrative expenses also rose from £14.4m to £23.5m. Total staff costs increased from £7.4m to £12.5m as the average monthly headcount surged from 165 to 252.