Wealth a ‘standout performer’ for Count in FY23

Countplus Count Financial Affinia

30 August 2023
| By Rhea Nath |
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Count Limited has reported a strong performance in its wealth segment in the last financial year, reporting a 17 per cent rise in adjusted segment revenue to $18.1 million. 

Meanwhile, adjusted aggregate EBITA grew by 23 per cent to $2.6 million. 

Count said over 25,000 documented advice experiences were delivered to clients in the last financial year. Authorised representatives of its AFSLs grew to 379, an increase of 36 per cent, and firms licensed to the group now total 188. 

For its overall business, the firm reported a group revenue of $91.5 million and EBITDA of $12.2 million. 

According to Count chief executive, Hugh Humphrey, a clear focus on clients and delivering integrated accounting and wealth solutions was producing results for the business.

Earlier this year, shareholders voted in favour of brand consolidation, changing the name to Count Limited towards a “dynamic new phase” for the business. 

“The past year has been a significant period of delivery and transformation for our business. For the first time in our 43-year history, Count operates as a single, strong brand in the market alongside our new client-centred value proposition,” Humphrey said.

He remarked the firm delivered on its ambition to scale wealth with the acquisition of Affinia Financial Advisers from TAL. With the deal completed in May, Count welcomed over 100 new advisers and said it would “leverage Count’s market-leading licensee proposition”. 

It also announced that it would discontinue the operations of Wealth Axis, which provided outsourced paraplanning and administration services to financial planning and accounting firms. It had acquired a majority stake in Wealth Axis in May 2021.

According to Humphrey, 2023 was “very much a year of two halves”.

“In the first half, we dealt decisively with some legacy issues from prior management. We took the tough but correct decision to exit Wealth Axis, which was an underperforming asset and earnings drag. We also booked a write-down on a legacy transaction that didn’t materialise,” he said.

However, the second half saw “real momentum”, Humphrey added.

“We saw improvements in the accounting segment performance as resourcing stabilised, reliably performing from our continuing investments in our services segment, and standout results in our wealth segment, even before accounting for the terrific Affinia acquisition.

“That means our entire annual profit was generated in the second half and more than offset the first half net loss. Sixty-five per cent of our four-year EBITDA was generated in the second half as we lifted momentum, and more than half of that 65 per cent came from the fourth quarter.”

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