Count highlights growth momentum in 2024 half-year results


Hugh Humphrey

Count Limited (Count) has issued its half-year (1H24) financial results for the six months ending 31 December 2023.

Key highlights include:

  • Revenue increased by +6% compared to the prior period, driven by both organic and acquisitive growth.
  • Underlying Earnings Before Interest, Tax and Amortisation (EBITA) up by +9% to $5.436m (1H23: $4.965m) mainly attributable to improved EBITA margins of 21.4% in the Accounting segment.
  • Completion of seven growth transactions to date (excluding Diverger) with two additional transactions announced since 31 December 2023.
  • Statutory profit for the period increased by +135% to $2.014m (1H23: $858k).
  • An interim dividend of 1.5 cents per share.
  • Diverger transaction on track to complete on 1 March 2024.

Hugh Humphrey, Count Chief Executive Officer, said: “The strong performance is particularly pleasing as the Company simultaneously delivers one of the most significant transformations in our 44-year history. Count continues its strategic execution to build capability and drive growth across our three segments of Accounting, Wealth and Services. These results are a strong endorsement of this focus, with the most exciting phase still to come as we complete the acquisition of Diverger on 1 March.”

Upon completion of the Diverger transaction, Count will be one of the largest advisory businesses in Australia. The Company will have more than 550 financial advisers, materially increasing earnings both through scale and through more diversified service offerings.

Accounting performed well in 1H24, delivering a +20% increase in underlying EBITA compared to the prior corresponding period. The Accounting EBITA margins increased to 21%, despite a challenging economic environment and continued cost-of-living pressures.

In Wealth, Count invested in accelerating the transition of Affinia advisers to the Count AFSL following completion of that transaction in May 2023. Count will achieve significant scale and earnings diversification in Wealth following completion of the Affinia and Diverger transactions, with over 550 advisers and the CARE managed portfolios.

Consistent EBITA was generated in the Services segment, with Accurium continuing as the market-leading provider of actuarial certificates and related services. Count announced a strategic 51% investment in Solutions Centric on 12 February 2024, extending our service offering through the addition of this high-quality outsourced technical accounting, tax and Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) services provider. Count will further expand its Services segment with Knowledge Shop, TaxBanter and Priority Networking once the Diverger transaction completes.

“These results, highlighted by an increase in profit and cash earnings, continue the strong momentum we recorded in the second half of FY23. The strength of our financial position and enviable acquisitions pipeline means we are well-positioned to achieve further strategic growth,” Mr Humphrey concluded.

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