Monday 18 December 2017

AA Ireland profits jump as customer base grows

CEO Brendan Nevin
CEO Brendan Nevin
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Insurer and breakdown assistance provider AA Ireland posted a 17pc increase in profit after tax last year, according to newly-filed accounts.

The company also saw a 10pc increase on turnover fuelled by customer additions.

The accounts, covering the year ending January 31 2017, state that the company "continued to focus on growing its customer base, and added a further 6.4pc to its personal membership holding which now stands at 136,500".

"The growth in our customer base was the key driver for increased turnover, which increased by 10pc to €56.5m.

"In keeping with the growth in our customer base, breakdown service volumes were 3.8pc higher than 2016 levels," the accounts state.

The company employed an average of 455 people. Run by CEO Brendan Nevin, the company offers home, travel and life insurance as well as its traditional car services.

The accounts state the company's repair rate for personal members in terms of roadside assistance was 77pc (ie the car was repaired where it broke down and not towed off elsewhere).

The business was bought last year from UK-headquartered AA plc by Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) and Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners (CGFSP) for €156.6m, including consideration for cash that was left on the balance sheet.

The deal was completed in August, and therefore the accounts cover about a half-year of private equity ownership.

The accounts show operating expenses increased from €39.58m to €43.44m in the year.

CCI is a joint venture between US investment giant the Carlyle Group and Irish business Cardinal Capital Group.

It's one of the country's most active private equity players.

Other companies in its portfolio include the chocolate maker Lily O'Brien's, which is currently up for sale, ham maker Carroll Cuisine, and Sam McCauley chemists.

CGFSP is a $1.1bn Carlyle Group fund launched in 2008 which "invests in management buyouts, growth capital opportunities and strategic minority investments in financial services".

When the deal was announced last year, Mr Nevin said: "Our new owners have a proven track record of success across the sectors we operate in, which will benefit the AA Ireland as we look to continue growing the company."

"Our focus is on delivering great products and services and our recent entry into the life assurance market is a signal of bigger and better things to come for our members and customers in Ireland," he added.

Irish Independent

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