MTF profit rises 38% to $11.6m

MTF Finance has posted a bumper full-year financial result, reporting an after-tax net profit of $11.6 million for the year ending September 30, up 38% on the previous year.

It also achieved a record growth year with lending up 40% year on year to $846m, up from $607m in September 2022.

Lending assets increased 32% to $1.010 billion. Underlying profit after tax increased 71% to $11.3m with total lender earnings up 27% at $85.5m.

In a statement, the company said the strong result reflected the continued focus on community lending and expanding its vehicle dealer network and digital offering.

The community-based lending model, where MTF Finance franchises and vehicle dealers make the lending decision, recorded record-low arrears at less than half the industry average, it said.

Chief executive Chris Lamers said the result came at a challenging time when many New Zealanders were feeling the effects of interest rate rises and the increased cost of living.

The combination of strong lending growth and well-managed operating expenses allowed the company to hold interest rates as low as possible for customers, as well as deliver record returns to lenders, he said.

Chairman Mark Darrow said key to achieving that was a clear strategy designed to deliver growth and resilience during a tough economic climate.

MTF grew its reaching, adding franchises to reach 51 around the country, with two more opening in November, "bucking the trend" when others were closing local branches.

"We also grew the motor dealer channel with more focus in this area and completed a fintech acquisition. It has been a busy and successful year," he said.

The purchase of The Lending People in February 2023 gave customers access to a new online digital lending channel, while franchise branches continued to provide dedicated financial advice and solutions at a local level.

Looking forward, Mr Lamers said the company would continue to be close to its customers, to ensure it was proactive in looking after customers as economic conditions continued to harden with increases in wholesale interest rates and inflation fuelling a cost-of-living crisis.

The company planned to launch the brokering of home loans through its franchise network, and would continue to enhance its product offering through both existing and new partnerships.

There would be an increased focus on community engagement through an evolving environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy.

Earlier this month, MTF won the marketing category in The Grand Business South awards.

— Staff reporter