We have achieved a seventh year of profit growth with pre-tax profits hitting a new record of £22.6m enabling us to pay our first ever dividend to shareholders.
Profit before tax* rose 18.3% in the year to 31 December 2018 and a dividend of £2 million is being paid to shareholders.
The record profits were underpinned by strong performance across a range of key measures including assets under management, mortgage lending and number of advisers.
- Assets on the platform increased 11% in the year to £6.9bn
- The volume of mortgage lending increased 21% in the year to £16.4bn
- Total number of Openwork advisers across the network increased by 262 to 3,865
We have maintained the momentum in 2019, with assets on the platform increasing to £8bn in July 2019 as demand for advice continues to grow.
We are increasing investment in adviser recruitment with the Openwork Academy welcoming a record 54 trainees to the scheme in 2019 so far this year, almost equalling the total intake for 2018. Since its foundation in 2014, the Academy has trained and qualified more than 150 advisers. This forms part of its significant expansion as we focus on increasing access to financial advice across the UK in response to growing demand. Our network now has c. 3,900 financial advisers operating across the UK, functioning as a directly authorised, multi-panel distribution network.
Commenting on the results, our CEO Mark Duckworth, said: “2018 was a significant year in the development of Openwork as we became an independent business in April. It is therefore very pleasing to be able to report strong results whilst also investing in the future. We are growing the scale of our advice business across our diversified offering and this has meant we have been able to help more clients than ever.
“That is enabling us to invest in our academy to develop more advisers, as well as in our front-end systems to enable our advisers to serve our clients more effectively. The record intake to the Openwork Academy in particular underlines our commitment to increase access to advice so more people across the UK can receive the expert help they need to create and protect wealth for themselves and their families. This will remain a strategic priority of the business throughout 2019 and beyond.
“Our strengthened financial position has meant we have been able to reward our long-standing and supportive shareholders with the first ever dividend. I would like to thank the growing team at Openwork, our advisers, colleagues and senior management, for the hard work and dedication which has made 2018 a success and look forward to the continued development of our business.”