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  1. Annual profits have rocketed by 246% at the debt purchaser Idem Capital following £115.4m of investment in consumer debt portfolios. Operating profits at Idem hit £26.3m for 2012, up from £7.6m the previous year, after investment in debt portfolios during the year rose to £115.4m from £22.7m. In a results statement the firm, which is a subsidiary of mortgage firm the Paragon Group of Companies, said further portfolio investments were being considered after four deals with Royal Bank of Scotland and MBNA in the last 12 months. Richard Woodman, managing director of Idem Capital, told Credit Today the results reflected the progress of three of these deals plus smaller deals the firm did in 2011. Idem Capital’s last deal with MBNA is too recent to be fully reflected in today’s results, but the progress of the other deals means Idem Capital currently accounts for 28% of the overall Group’s profits. He said a strong flow of portfolios were still coming through at the moment, and the firm would look at making more large-scale purchases next year. Woodman also hinted at a possible refinancing for Idem Capital, which currently funds portfolio purchases through cash generated in both the secured and unsecured operations of the Group. “At the moment we do not use any leverage (to fund portfolio purchases) but that might change on individual trades,” he said. “For larger individual deals putting bilateral leverage in place is increasingly attractive. We may look at raising debt at an Idem Capital level or via a special-purpose vehicle, or continue using our own cash. These are all good options.” Woodman added that more debt purchase deals were possible before the end of this year due to the buoyancy of the market, but could not say what the scale of any deals is likely to be. Meanwhile Idem’s sister firms, Moorgate Loan Servicing and Arden Credit Management, agreed four new servicing contracts with Idem’s co-investment partners during the year. This included Moorgate Loan Servicing taking on the servicing of 149,000 accounts across four portfolios, meaning that 49.9% of accounts under management by the Group are being managed on behalf of third parties. The firm’s strong performance in debt purchase contributed to underlying profits of £32.6m for the Group’s consumer finance division, up from £13.8m the previous year. Link: http://www.credittoday.co.uk/article/14590/online-news/profits-up-246-at-idem-capital
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