Review, restructure costs weaken Plan B's results
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Kate Kachor is a journalist with InvestorDaily, a Morningstar publication.
Plan B Group Holdings (PLB) has posted a drop in net profit of almost 30 per cent for the full year to 30 June, due to $1.12 million in costs associated with a strategic review and restructure of its wealth management division.
The listed dealer group reported a net profit after tax of $3.23 million, a result in line with the company's earlier guidance.
"The reduction in net profit primarily reflects the impact of costs associated with the previously announced strategic review of the business," the company said in its full-year results announcement.
"The fiscal 2012 result also includes costs associated with changes to the structure of the group's wealth management business."
As a result of the company's restructure, total headcount of the group, including contract staff, declined by 22 from 195 at 30 June 2011 to 173, the report said.
"This decrease in staff has resulted from both a deliberate program to reduce headcount, most notably within the wealth management division, and from natural staff attrition, where efforts have been made to not replace staff wherever possible without compromising client service levels or increasing regulatory and business risk," it said.
Other operating costs increased by $1.75 million in the 2012 financial year compared with the previous period.
The company said the increase could be attributed to a 24 per cent rise in information technology and other data costs, including the impact of the My Adviser acquisition and the full-year impact of the expansion of the investment division.
Another factor was a 56 per cent increase in professional fees associated with an internal review of the business, including the review of "how the group delivers its fund administration services and costs associated with the potential sale of the business".
The review "culminated" in the 13 July announcement of the company's takeover agreement with IOOF (IFL), it said.
Outside of the cost of the review and restructure, Plan B's net profit after tax was $4.01 million, a decrease of 12.5 per cent on the previous year.
The company reported a 10.6 per cent drop in funds under management, administration or advice (FUMA) to $2.06 billion during the year, the report said.
At the end of the financial year, Plan B's platforms held 77.5 per cent of total FUMA.
Despite the decline in FUMA, the company reported a 1.1 per cent increase in revenue, the report said.
My Adviser contributed $548,000 of revenue or 1.4 per cent of total group revenue during the period subsequent to Plan B's purchase of an increased stake in the business.
Commenting on the results, Plan B chairman Bryan Taylor said the group was "satisfied with the overall result achieved in fiscal 2012 given the difficult trading conditions and the internal review initiatives undertaken by Plan B".
He said the proposed acquisition of Plan B by IOOF was "proceeding according to schedule".
"As previously announced, the board believes the proposal from IOOF represents an excellent opportunity for shareholders to realise value for their shares," he said.