Leasing specialist First Citizen Finance lost €466,000 in 2016 following the liquidation of a car loan business, but expects a better performance this year thanks to a change in direction.
This year, First Citizen raised 70 million euros from the American company Magnetar Capital. The deal involved selling a 66% stake to the investor for €28m and borrowing a further €42m which will allow the Irish company to lend directly to customers from its own balance sheet.
The figures which have just been filed with the Register of Companies show that it lost €466,236 last year. The shortfall resulted from an auto loan collection business she ran for Consumer Auto Finance Receivables.
Chief executive Chris Hanlon said the loss was expected. As borrowers repaid the loans, the balances owed on them decreased, reducing the company’s costs, he explained.
He pointed out that First Citizen had changed this year from serving lenders to full-fledged lenders and that this would be reflected in future accounts.
Mr Hanlon noted that this year’s accounts would show a loss resulting from a number of one-time charges related to the change in activity. “But it will be clear from 2018,” he said.
A former managing director of Permanent TSB Finance, one of the Republic’s largest consumer lenders, Hanlon founded First Citizen in 2012.
It focuses on leasing and financing in four key areas: automotive, agriculture, equipment and more recently commercial real estate.
Mr Hanlon said he was currently reviewing deals worth a total of 30-40 million euros and added that the company is expected to make an impact in this area next year.
Its 2016 figures showed net assets rose to €148.3 million as of December 31 last year, from €97.3 million 12 months earlier.
This is explained by an increase in loans receivable from customers to 141.7 million euros against 89.5 million euros over the same period.