Lowell Third Quarter Results 2021

Lowell, a European leader in credit management services, today announces its results for the 3 months ended 30 September 2021.

Commenting on today’s announcement Colin Storrar, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “These results demonstrate another quarter of sustainable growth underpinned by strong collection performance and significant progress towards our margin guidance which will now be delivered by FY21, ahead of target. We continue to make excellent progress towards the launch of our inaugural Sustainability Report next year.”

Key Highlights

  • Strong YTD collection performance at 108% vs Dec-20 static pool
    YTD Cash EBITDA up 2% YoY
  • Underlying LTM margin accretion to 56% supported by ongoing delivery of cost actions in support of +300bps margin guidance
  • £219m YTD portfolio acquisitions, on track to achieve purchasing guidance of >£350m
  • Leverage continues at the lower end of our publicly guided range at 3.6x
  • Substantial available liquidity1 of £614 million


As we approach the end of the year, we are encouraged by the continued progress the business is demonstrating as a leading pan-European debt purchaser. Improving efficiency remains a key target for the Group and the progress here is evident with the anticipated delivery of our guidance ahead of target. Whilst the market remains competitive, we are well positioned for the exciting opportunities that our growing purchasing pipeline will bring across the next 18-24 months and we expect to end 2021 strongly, delivering on our FY21 purchasing guidance of >£350m and leveraging our sustainable platform for future growth.

Group Financial Performance

Collection Strength Continues

Collections have continued to perform ahead of expectations across the Group with all regions performing ahead of forecast. Collection performance for the 9 months to Sep-21 vs Dec-20 static pool is 108%.

In the UK, the recovery of the deferred collections has continued ahead of our forecast expectation. This strong collection recovery supports the management judgement taken in Jun-20 that collections were delayed and not lost because of the customer centric actions taken during Q2-20 to reduce collection activities in the UK. The Group’s performance vs Dec-19 Static Pool stands at 97% as at Sep-21.

For Cash Income and Cash EBTIDA the comparative period included the previously disclosed strategic asset sales and also the benefit from a period of reduced collection activity, and associated costs, in response to customer centric actions taken due to Covid-19. However, underlying performance here continues to show encouraging growth as we consistently demonstrate strong collection performance whilst beginning to increase the level of capital deployed on NPL acquisitions above FY20 levels.

NPL acquisitions have increased through 2021 in line with guidance. Increasing levels of acquisitions will support future top line growth as we move into 2022 as the Group benefits from further growth in its frontbook.

Further Progress Towards Margin Guidance

Underlying LTM Cash EBITDA margin continues to grow as we deliver in line with our guidance.

We now expect to meet the +300bps improvement by FY21, a result of strong cost control, focus and delivery across the whole Lowell team.

Cost initiatives continue to focus on accelerating digital customer engagement, automation and optimisation of common back office functions and streamlining organisational design across functions.

Increasing Levels of Market Activity and Strong Market Outlook

Purchasing activity has remained strong following our Q2-21 market update, with £56m deployed during Q3, resulting in £219m YTD purchases. We remain confident in achieving our upwardly revised purchasing guidance of at least £350m for FY21, as we have clear visibility of a strong Q4 pipeline of opportunities.

The market remains competitive, and we maintain our belief that the market will continue to show increasing levels of NPL opportunities across our platforms; both in respect of debt purchase and
third-party collections.

Strong Liquidity and Leverage Comfortably Within Guidance

As at September 30, 2021 we have available liquidity of £614m and leverage continues at the lower end of our public guidance at 3.6x.