Finance software provider, Alfa Systems, has revealed a 24% boost in revenue in its H1 2020 report.
With revenue and profit “significantly ahead” of original expectations, the company forecast 2020 to be 5% ahead of current revenue expectations with the vast majority of this improvement also falling through to earnings before interest & tax (EBIT).
Andrew Denton (pictured above), chief executive officer at Alfa, explained: “The qualities of our people and our product have been highlighted in tackling the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has posed. It is great to see that the dedication, skills and the effort of our people in difficult circumstances has been reflected in a strong first half financial performance."
Additional results from the report included a 92% rise in operating profit, and a 95% boost to profit before tax.
In an interview with Asset Finance International, Denton elaborated on the results, saying: “The first half was slightly flattered compared to 2019 because there were some licensed write-backs last year and we obviously haven’t had as many employees taking holidays. I suppose the good news is that we were able to find productive work for everyone. But we’ll see the effect in the second half. In terms of looking after our people’s wellbeing, it’s very easy to go through all of this home-working business without taking holidays, and there are many reasons that we want to make sure that they do take enough time off.
When the lockdown first hit
Denton continued: “We’ve got a variety of structures and a dedicated team that convened to handle this challenge pretty effectively. We decided to recommend home working on Thursday 12 March, so that on Friday 13, everyone went home and it’s been that way ever since. We’re somewhat used to remote working because we are often required to work at client sites.
“But we did give everybody an allowance to establish a proper work station because once it became obvious this wasn’t going to go away quickly, we didn’t want our staff to be struggling at home due to poor working conditions. Of course, as a company we benefitted from our technologies and from having no physical supply chain.
“The first half of the year has seen four customers move into live operation with another one go live since then - as well as an unprecedented level of product advances. So, the delivery bandwagon just hasn’t stopped. We’ve had clients from three different continents start using Alfa.”
Strong team spirit
“I’ve heard multiple people – including myself – say that as a company, we’ve never felt more Alfa than those first few weeks of lockdown. It really did, and still does, feel like a family. With the right corporate frame of mind, I think a crisis like this can pull us all together and improve upon the culture of a company.
“We’re also continuing to invest in people. We’ve continued hiring regardless of the lockdown. At the end of the day, if you’ve got confidence in your future then why wouldn’t you?”
When quizzed about the corporate mindset in the leasing industry at the present time in regards to investing in technology at a time of crisis, Denton stated it remained positive.
He said: “One of the things with the leasing industry is that it tends to increase its share of finance during difficult times. I know that all of the figure-work is down a little bit but I think people are backing themselves for the future. It has at the very least put the requirement for digital capability into sharp focus. So overall, it’s one of those markets that are highly progressive, highly resilient and highly innovative and I think that the appetite to invest in the future seems to be undiminished.
“Looking ahead to the next six-to-nine months, in terms of activity, I think you’ll see a lot more development with Alfa iQ – our new artificial intelligence joint venture – which we expect to greatly enhance our ability to develop AI solutions for the asset and auto finance industries in future. So far, a lot of this pandemic has been spent continuing to do the things that Alfa does really well; we’ve been selling effectively and positioning ourselves well. So, I expect this to continue into the future.”