A FAST-GROWING PROFITABLE FINTECH GROUP
- Revenue up 6.5% to R3.6 billion
- Operating profit up 83.3% to R482 million
- Loan disbursements up 28.9 % to R4.3 billion
- BNPL gross merchant value up 260% to R747 million
- Retail sales down 5.6% to R1.6 billion
- Earnings per share up 81.1% to 289.4 cents
- Headline earnings per share up 41.8% to 288.5 cents
- Final dividend declared of 77.0 cents per share (2021: 20.0)
Mauritius, 14 March 2023. Diversified digital consumer services group HomeChoice International plc (HiL plc) delivered an 83% growth in operating profit, a 42% growth in HEPS and a 110% increase in total dividends in 2022. HiL plc has transformed itself into a fast-growing and profitable fintech-focused group in recent years.
HIL plc provides innovative financial services and retail products to over 1.4 million mobile-savvy, mass-market customers in South Africa. In the 2022 financial year, the group disbursed R4.3 billion of loans (up 29%), delivered Buy Now, Pay Later Gross Merchant Value of R0.7bn (up 260%) generated R1.6 billion in retail sales (down 5.6%) and demonstrated its cash collection capacity by collecting R7.3 billion from customers, up R1.4 billion (or 25%) from the prior year. The group also increased its customer base by 44% or c.400 000 customers in 2022. Weaver Fintech delivered continued strong growth, while the Retail operations returned to operating profit despite lower sales, benefiting from successful turnaround initiatives.
Digital focus has transformed the group
The group implemented a digital-first strategy several years ago, not only accelerating its convenience factor and improving customer experience but also delivering cost efficiencies and scalability to its operations. Today, more than 75% of the group’s transactions take place using digital channels, with on average 1.2 million digital users per month. Our broad 24/7 digital offerings have strong appeal for the client base, 59% of whom comprises Millennials and GenZ consumers.
Highly profitable and fast-growing Weaver Fintech
Weaver Fintech comprises FinChoice, which offers personal lending, insurance and value-added services, and PayJustNowTM, which offers a digital Buy Now, Pay Later payment product. Weaver Fintech’s combined customer base of 940 500 highly-engaged customers provides excellent cross-selling opportunities to the fintech businesses.
Weaver Fintech now accounts for 85% of group profits. The operations continued a strong top-line growth trajectory, delivering operating profit growth of 29% to R438 million due to exceptional growth in customers, high levels of repeat business, good credit management and the optimisation of our customers’ digital journeys.
Over the last two years, FinChoice loan disbursements have doubled to R4.3 billion and its funeral policy customer base has increased by 50% to 108 000 customers. The FinChoice MobiMoney™ credit-backed digital wallet user base grew by 27% to 215 000 in 2022, with usage increasing by 38% to R1.4 billion in withdrawals. Customers can make payments using quick response (QR) codes, purchase value-added services and make bill payments. Using FinChoicePay, the newly launched retail instalment credit product, customers can now pay retailers at point-of-sale.
PayJustNow’s strong customer appeal more than tripled its customer base to 649 000 during 2022. Customer transactions increased by 250%, with 58% of these transactions stemming from repeat customers, pointing to high customer satisfaction. 2 350+ retail partners are offering the brand through 4 600 active points of presence both online and in-store. Merchants enjoy high brand awareness from customers, with the top 10 merchants experiencing a 96% increase on average in the number of transactions. PJN’s bespoke Payup App and ‘MyDeals’ portal provide merchants with innovative tools to target offers to customers based on their shopping behaviour.
Retail returns to profitability
Profits were restored at our omnichannel Retail business, with an R78 million operating profit delivered in 2022 after an operating loss of R43 million in FY2021 (which included R114 million of once-off costs attributable to the recovery plan).
While sales were impacted by load-shedding and credit risk tightening, an increased focus on our heritage home textiles products, selective price increases, more effective management of markdowns and warehouse and fulfilment optimisation returned margins to pre-Covid levels. Rebuilding a quality customer base by using stricter, data-driven credit is critical to full recovery. Under this strategy, 179 000 new customers were acquired in 2022, and customer reactivations were up 25%. While the risk tightening continued to impact Retail sales and the active credit customer base, credit risk has reduced with 14% lower debtor costs, positioning the business well for the future.
Smaller format showrooms are receiving good customer response and we anticipate rolling out a further 10 showrooms using digital technology to drive higher returns from smaller footprints.
Conservative credit provisioning and healthy cash flows
Weaver and Retail both maintain a strict focus on credit quality and on retaining healthy provision coverage. Our trade and loans receivables books are highly cash generative. The Weaver Fintech loan books collected R5.1 billion off a gross book of R3.2 billion in 2022, while the Retail credit book collected R1.7 billion on an R2 billion gross book. The group has cash on hand and ample undrawn funding facilities of R0.6 billion to fund the continuing growth of Weaver Fintech.
Executive chair, Shirley Maltz, commented: “Our well-established digital-first strategy continues to provide the platform from which we accelerate innovation, target and acquire new customers, improve customer experiences and pursue robust growth. This, while it also provides us with the ability to scale quickly and improve cost efficiencies. We have tremendous opportunities to broaden the product ranges available on our platforms, cross-sell in our sizeable fintech customer base and accelerate customer acquisition through analytics and high customer conversion. I am confident the group is well positioned and amply funded to drive our growth ambitions.”
About the HIL plc group
A fast-growing fintech-focused group providing digital consumer services and products to the mobile-savvy, mass market in South Africa, delighting more than 1.4 million customers across the group. Our customer is a digitally savvy urban-based African woman.
Through the FinChoice and PayJustNow brands, Weaver Fintech offers digital personal lending, payment solutions, value-added services and insurance products using innovative mobile-first platforms. Our omnichannel retailer, HomeChoice, delivers innovative, quality own brands and sought-after external brands across homeware categories. A growing online channel provides a convenient shopping experience on customers’ mobile phones.
For further enquiries or to set up a media interview contact:
Lydia du Plessis: Investorsense,
(+27 (0) 82 491 7583; firstname.lastname@example.org)