Mortgage Intelligence profit expected
Nigel Stockton, Countrywide’s financial services director, said the move to profit would be a result of improved business performance and that MI has now paid off exceptional costs associated with its purchase of Mortgage Next, the directly authorised proposition now called Next Intelligence, in 2009.
He added that Countrywide’s acquisition had also given MI brokers access to Countrywide exclusives which had helped boost performance.
He said: “Mortgage Intelligence has seen two years with exceptional costs. The underlying business is performing at a level but those exceptionals meant a loss was declared in 2009 and 2010.
“Do I think that I will be saying in May that the first quarter of the acquisition by Countrywide of Mortgage Intelligence has led to MI trading profitably? Yes I do.
“I think MI will make a profit in the first quarter. That goes back to scale, scope and how we can bring some pieces to play in MI that they didn’t have access to before. We’re doing more business and those exceptional costs have gone.”
Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence and Next Intelligence, said: “When you merge with another business, as MI did with Mortgage Next, you’re putting two businesses together and then lifting out the costs.
“There is a cost to doing that: you have two centres, two lots of people. Putting the two businesses together was the best thing we could have done because there was amazing synergies between them. But one office was in Caterham one in Bournemouth and there were redundancies. Some of those costs were in the 2009 year end. The transaction and the year end were close together so some costs were in 2010.”
Laker added that improving business performance was also in part down to new systems the firm had invested in last year.
She added: “The investment that we made last year and the new systems coming in have also made a difference.”