Who are the winners of the last financial year?

With the latest tax year set to end on the 5th of April, many companies have been posting their yearly results. But who has had a good year? Business Leader took a closer look at some of the winners from the past 12 months.

If you think we have missed someone on our list, please send an email to editor@businessleader.co.uk and we can add them in.

This list is in no particular order.

Melrose plc

Earlier this month, manufacturing giant Melrose plc announced that they were ahead of expectations for the year, with underlying revenue of £7.5bn, up 2% when adjusted for currency changes.

The benefits from the group’s restructuring efforts also helped underlying operating profits more than triple to £375m. However, this did not include £826m in restructuring costs, amortization charges and acquisition and disposal expenses.

In light of the crisis in Ukraine, the Melrose board decided to push back plans to return remaining proceeds from the sale of the Brush and Nortek businesses, with shareholders set to receive a final dividend of 1p per share, bringing the total to 1.75p for the year.

Laura Hoy, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented on Melrose’s latest results: “The market tends to react poorly to unexpected bad news. That’s exactly what happened when Melrose announced it would withhold a planned shareholder distribution related to the sale of Brush and Nortek. Melrose is a master at flipping businesses – buying struggling or unprofitable companies and selling them for a profit. A chunk of those profits is funnelled straight into shareholders’ pockets.

“The pandemic meant Melrose held onto much of its recent sale proceeds as a safety net, citing market uncertainty. Most expected the group would announce plans to release that capital at the full year. Instead, the group’s keeping its cash cushion a little longer as the crisis in Ukraine continues to roil markets.

“However, the underlying business at Melrose looks to be riding a wave of recovery. Helped by restructuring efforts, each of the group’s businesses are clawing their way back to pre-pandemic sales. The group’s Automotive and Powder Metallurgy businesses look particularly well-positioned if supply chain and semiconductor shortages start to ease later this year. The market’s reaction was understandable considering expectations are high, but we applaud management’s conservative attitude and believe there’s plenty of opportunity ahead.”

Genesys

Genesys®, a global cloud leader in customer experience orchestration, enjoyed a record-setting 2022, with total revenue of more than $1.9 billion announced in its preliminary results. Plus, cloud and multi-cloud revenue were over $825 Million, up over 60% year-over-year.

The US software company also closed more than 15 deals worth over $5 million in new ARR, including six over $10 million in new ARR. This included the largest deal in the company’s history: a nine-figure total contract value (TCV) multi-year agreement with a leading North American financial services institution to transform its global contact centre operations.

“This past fiscal year was record-setting for Genesys and evidence that our customers see our experience orchestration and thriving ecosystem as how they can deliver unique experiences at scale,” said Tony Bates, CEO and Chairman of Genesys.

“While products and services are important, research shows that more than 80% of consumers see personalized experiences as the key to their brand loyalty and advocacy. That’s why many of the most-forward looking organizations in the world have already turned to us to help them rethink how they build life-long relationships with their employees and customers.”

Triodos Bank

Dr Bevis Watts, Chief Executive of Triodos Bank UK

Triodos Bank N.V, an ethical bank based in the Netherlands, reported a net profit of €50.8 (£42.9m) million for the year 2021, which is €23.6 (£19.9m) million higher than the same period last year. Total assets under management increased by €3.9 billion (£3.3bn) to €24.2 billion (£20.4bn) per end of December 2021. In December 2020, total assets under management stood at €20.3 billion (£17.1bn). Return on equity also rose to 4.1%, up from 2.3% in December 2020.

Bevis Watts, CEO of Triodos Bank UK, commented on their yearly results: “We have been able to achieve strong results and customer growth despite the ongoing challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic and low-interest environment. Overall customer numbers have now almost doubled since we launched our personal current account in 2017.

“Tackling environmental and social challenges continues to be front of mind for many and, in this context, Triodos plays a vital role in the UK banking landscape. We not only finance organisations tackling these issues, but also strive for a banking world that is sustainable, transparent, and diverse. It is a bold ambition built upon fairness and compassion and we remain committed to work with energy and optimism towards a better future.”

OakNorth Bank

OakNorth Bank, a UK bank for SMEs, recently published its 2021 Annual Report, which revealed a 73% increase in pre-tax profits to £134.5 million, up from £77.6 million in 2020, and a 60% increase in new lending to £1.8 billion, up from £1.1 billion in 2020.

Rishi Khosla, CEO and Co-Founder of OakNorth Bank, commented on their latest results: “2021 marked a significant period of growth for our business, during which we surpassed the £100 million milestone in net income after just six years of operation.

“We look forward to continuing to build on this momentum and supporting the change-makers, productivity-drivers, job-creators, and innovators who are helping fuel the economic recovery, even as uncertainty lingers. We have come an incredibly long way in a short amount of time and are really excited about what the future holds for our customers as we continue on our mission to empower the Missing Middle.”

Flintfox

Over the past year, Flintfox, a leading company in intelligent pricing solutions, has experienced 45% CAGR in annual recurring revenue and 18% CAGR in new customer acquisition rate. Following their excellent growth over the past year, the company appointed Microsoft industry veteran Chris Dieringer as Chief Customer Officer (CCO).

John Moss, CEO, Flintfox, commented on the recent appointment: “Chris is an energetic industry leader with an exceptionally strong business background, and I’m delighted to welcome him as our newest Executive team member.

“His background at Microsoft speaks for itself, with years of experience in retail, manufacturing, consumer goods and distribution that provides unique insights into the ongoing challenges and opportunities faced by these sectors. As more of these businesses search for ways to deal with their pricing headaches, Chris has an important role to play in ensuring we offer them a world-class experience with our solutions.”

Visual Method

James McVitie, Managing Director at CCW

James McVitie, Managing Director at CCW

Manchester-based creative production company, Visual Method, announced that its revenue had increased by 300% to over £4m at the start of 2022. The exponential growth is also forecast to continue, with a focus on breaking through the £10m barrier in 2023. Following their growth announcement, Visual Method is set to rebrand as Creative Content Works (CCW) to better reflect their current business proposition.

James McVitie, Managing Director at CCW, commented on the company’s recent growth: “Our growth over the past three years comes down to the dedication of the team to innovate and disrupt industry norms. Throughout the pandemic we have helped clients to connect the digital and physical shopping experience, to keep conversion high during times of uncertainty, when in-store purchases weren’t always possible.”

Phoenix Group plc

Long-term savings and retirement business, the Phoenix Group plc, announced its full-year results, which revealed the company generated £1.72bn of cash during the year, maintaining a £5.3bn capital surplus and boosting its solvency ratio from 164% to 180%.

New business long-term cash generation also jumped from £766m to £1,184m. A new dividend policy that raises the prospect of more regular increases in dividends to shareholders was also announced, plus a 3% organic increase in the dividend, taking the payout for FY2021 to 48.9p per share.

Steve Clayton, Fund Manager of the HL Select UK Income Shares fund, which holds a position in Phoenix, commented: “This is a pivotal moment for Phoenix. Ever since the Standard Life acquisition, the group has been talking about “proving the wedge”. The revelation that new business is now more than offsetting the natural decline of the acquired legacy books upon which the group is built shows that the group is now driving its own destiny organically.

“The dividend increases that were announced leaves the stock trading on a very attractive yield of 7.8%. Phoenix’s challenge is now to prove that they can indeed maintain their new business capabilities and support the growth of their dividend into the future.”

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