Acta is back on track
New customer concepts a success
Even if the financial markets are still marked by some uncertainty, Acta believes that the financial crisis which emerged in 2007 has faded and that this market situation reveals many favourable investment opportunities we can develop and offer to our clients. Even though the quarter is short due to client and employee summer holidays in July and parts of August, we have been very active in keeping a good and close dialogue with our clients, and Acta Invest has held 9,400 meetings with clients, equivalent to an average of 60 meetings per advisor. Acta Direct handled approximately 6,500 phone calls in the quarter. We are seeing that our clients still have a positive approach to alternative investments, but that the focus and the will to invest is most present when it comes to liquid asset classes. Mutual funds were the most popular asset class in the quarter followed by Bonds and Unit linked.
- We are pleased to report that both London Opportunities, a high-risk mandate in London real estate, and Cobond, investments in bonds and in other instruments of debt, have proven to be investment mandates that have been met by significant interest by our clients, says CEO Geir Inge Solberg.
The introduction of new concepts which were implemented during the quarter has given Acta Invest approximately 26,000 clients with an AUM of 64 billion, an average AUM of NOK 2.5 million per client. The corresponding figures for Acta Direct are approximately 61,000 clients with an AUM of 13 billion, an average of NOK 0,2 million in AUM per client. Acta Invest's customer base is moving towards the high net worth segment in the market.
Financial advice of utmost quality
Acta is now in the process of getting all the financial advisors in the Norwegian organisation certified. An equivalent certification scheme has existed in Sweden for a number of years. The certification consists of a theoretical examination in addition to a practical test. The majority of the advisors have taken the theoretical test, and Acta is very pleased to report that approximately 80 per cent of the advisors have passed. The comparable figure for the industry as a whole is approximately 50 per cent. Advisors who didn't pass the test the first time will be given two additional opportunities and we expect all our advisors will pass the test. The practical tests will be carried out during the first quarter of 2010.
- The good results from the theoretical tests shows that the advisory staff in Acta possesses qualifications which position us amongst the top in the industry. We would venture to say that this adds value to our clients which among other things, is reflected in better services and hopefully increased return on capital compared to what our client would have experienced with other providers of financial advisory services, says Solberg.
Profitable operations and recurring revenues now cover fixed costs Operating earnings amounted to NOK 2 million for the quarter compared with NOK -32 million for the corresponding quarter last year. Recurring revenues in the quarter ended at NOK 73 million, while fixed costs came to NOK 68 million. Going forward, recurring revenues will cover fixed costs of slightly below NOK 300 million on a yearly basis. - Acta is very pleased to report profitable operations and recurring revenues which exceeded fixed costs in the quarter. Acta now has a solid foundation for future profitability, says Solberg.
Financial highlights in 3rd quarter 2009 * Gross subscriptions of NOK 477 million, compared with NOK 791 million in the same period in 2008. * Revenues of NOK 103 million, compared with NOK 130 million in the corresponding quarter in 2008. * Recurring revenues of NOK 73 million, with a fixed costs ratio of 107%. * Total operating costs including depreciation of NOK 101 million, compared with NOK 162 million in the corresponding quarter in 2008. * Operating earnings of NOK 2 million, compared with NOK -32 million in the same period in 2008. * Assets under management of NOK 77 billion, compared with NOK 78 billion in the previous quarter. * The Group has a robust financial position and has a net liquidity position of more than NOK 230 million and no interest-bearing debt. A complete English version of the interim report and the presentation of the 3rd quarter of 2009 are attached on www.newsweb.no and on Acta's Investor Relations web pages www.acta.no. Contact details: Geir Inge Solberg, Chief Executive Officer, +47 908 78 043 Christian Tunge, Chief Financial Officer, +47 450 65 850 Rune Wangsmo, Public Relations Director, +47 995 41 507