Property investment platform Landbay more than doubled its revenues and its loanbook value in 2019, but its losses widened as the company invested for growth.
The buy-to-let mortgage lender – which exited the retail peer-to-peer lending market last year – posted a 60 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue to £8,036,201 for the year to 31 December 2019.
Meanwhile, the value of Landbay’s loanbook grew from £231.9m in 2018 to almost £460.5m in 2019.
Staff wages and salaries also doubled, from £2,493,792 in 2019 to £5,216,118 in 2019. This reflected the doubling of the company’s headcount from 43 in 2018 to 80 by the end of 2019.
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However, the cost of investing in to the business led to an overall loss of £3,205,821 in 2019. In 2018 losses were £1,446,193.
“Revenue doubled through robust growth in loan originations with improving margins by maintaining efficient funding and origination models,” Landbay said.
“The increase in operational cash was reinvested into the business in key areas such as technology, operations and underwriting to maintain service standards and credit quality.
“Headcount increased by 50 per cent to support continued growth. Given this investment to support 2020 and beyond, the business posted an operating loss for the year.”
Landbay said it plans to continue to invest in its underwriting, operations and technology teams to support its lending growth over the next 18 months.
The financial statement also confirmed that £5.5m was raised in 2019 through new equity, with a further £1.4m in equity funding expected to be completed this year.
“The business maintained a strong financial position at the year end with positive cash reserves with no debt or other financial instruments on its balance sheet,” Landbay said.
“Lending in 2019 picked up significantly, with consistent quarter on quarter growth throughout the year supported by institutional funding facilities. Investment in new technology significantly increased efficiencies and underpinned services levels as the business scales.”
The lender said that it expects the overall buy-to-let market to show “modest growth”, while the specialist mortgage market is expected to continue growing strongly.
“Projected growth in the private rental market with strong appetite from professional landlords combined with ongoing supply restrictions will continue to underpin lending,” it said.
Between 2018 and 2019, the platform reduced its average loan-to-values (LTVs) from 72 per cent to 70 per cent. Recently, Landbay announced that it would be increasing its maximum LTV to 75 per cent to 80 per cent.