Easyhome sets another record for revenue and earnings in 2014
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (20 February 2015) - Leasing and short-term consumer loan specialist Easyhome recorded new highs for both revenue and earnings during the fourth quarter and fiscal year that was 2014. While its money lending operations continued to drive growth, its core merchandise leasing business turned in a modest upswing as well.
For the three months ending December 31, 2014, revenue was $70.0 million, up a more than strong 21.2% from the $57.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. Same store sales growth was pegged at 20.8%. Once again, the credit went to the company's Easyfinancial segment.
Same store sales growth for the merchandise leasing segment was 2.6%.
The company also noted its consumer loans receivable portfolio grew by $26.5 million during the fourth quarter to end the year at $192.2 million, up 74% from the $110.7 million on December 31, 2014.
Net income for the three months ending December 31, 2014 was $7.1 million or 51 cents per diluted share, compared to $4.3 million or 33 cents per diluted share for the comparable period - an uptick of 55% on a per share basis.
Included in the net earnings was an after-tax gain of $1.1 million or eight cents per share related to the wind down of Easyhome operations in the United States.
During the quarter, Easyfinancial opened 12 new stand-alone locations.
While Easyhome's leasing operations generated same store sales growth of 2.6%, it was offset by the impact of store sales and closures over the past 15 months, resulting in a revenue decline of 0.9%.
For the full 2014 year, Easyhome recorded revenues of $259.2 million, up 18.4% compared with $218.8 million in 2013.
Net income for 2014 was $19.7 million or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to $14.2 million or $1.15 per diluted share - an increase of 16.5% on a per share basis.
Going forward, David Ingram, Easyhome's long-time president and chief executive officer, said the company's strategic focus will continue to evolve its delivery channels to better meet the needs of its customers; continue the expansion of the Easyfinancial segment; and, execute with greater with efficiency and effectiveness.
"In addition, the leading macro indicators that influence our customers' financial health are progressively improving," Ingram pointed out in a conference call. "The price of gas has reduced, food and clothing inflation is minimal and employment levels are returning to pre-recession levels."
Easyhome's recent acquisition of the Cash Store and its 45 usable standalone locations has already given it a head start on its 2015 growth plans for Easyfinancial. These stores are in the process of being converted to the Easyfinancial banner and the company will add as many as 20 additional units as the year progresses.
Based on this growth, the company believes its consumer loans portfolio will now grow to between $280 and $295 million this year. An earlier guidance suggested it would growth to a maximum of $270 million.
"Based on these assumptions, the company is targeting total revenue growth of 18 to 22%," Ingram said, while noting achieving these targets is predicated on a number of factors, including the pace of expansion and the availability of capital.
Easyhome also announced an increase in its quarterly dividend from 8.5 cents to 10 cents a share.
At the end of 2014, the publicly-held company operated 192 Easyhome leasing stores (including 29 franchise locations) and 154 Easyfinancial locations. It is the largest big ticket home goods leasing merchant in Canada and believed to be the third largest in North America.