Purple Group turning Easy


Purple Group turning Easy

Published Date: 2018-12-03 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Purple Group turning Easy

The investment group is rebranding its GT247.com and Emperor Asset Management businesses in line with its EasyEquities platform.

Purple Group plans to reposition itself as Easy Investment Holdings, following a year which has seen its EasyEquities online investment platform gain further traction. The group is also rebranding trading platform GT247.com as Easy Trader, while Emperor Asset Management will become Easy Investment Managers.

An image of Charles SavageReleasing full-year results on Friday, Purple Group reported a reduced loss per share for the year to end-August as it grew revenue from EasyEquities and GT247.com. The group also restructured its debt profile after an empowerment consortium led by Business Leadership SA CEO Bonang Mohale invested R25 million in the business. Sanlam Investment Holdings invested R100 million to help fund EasyEquities' growth.

EasyEquities grew revenue by 68% over the period as platform assets increased by 144% to R3.5 billion and the number of investment accounts rose by 77% to 68,739. Total retail deposits increased by 76% to R1.2 billion. Its loss before tax was steady at R32 million as total expenses rose 20% due to higher professional fees and a bigger wage bill as it employed more staff to support new products.

GT247.com grew trading revenue by 13.9% while costs fell by 14.7%, resulting in a 141% improvement in profit before tax to R10.2 million.

Emperor Asset Management's revenue dropped 70% to R3.7 million due to a decrease in client funds invested in its leveraged strategies. The division reported a R2.77 million loss before tax from a R5.93 million profit. Purple Group said its strategy for the business was to broaden its offering and client base through offering managed portfolios on the EasyEquities platform and securing institutional asset management and consulting portfolios.

Group revenue declined 6% to R70.2 million but lower fair value impairments and guarantee adjustments left its loss for the period 54% lower at R26.7 million. Its headline loss per share also more than halved to 3c.

Retirement Investments and Savings for Everyone (RISE), a joint venture between EasyEquities and NBC Fund Administration Services, secured asset management mandates totalling R1 billion during the year. Following the end of its financial year, the group appointed RISE as the fund administrators and investment manager of a retirement fund, that will see it administering savings of some 20,000 members with assets under management in excess of R2 billion.

The group's shares closed unchanged at 30c on Friday.

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