Losses widen at Funding Circle amid ‘economic uncertainty’

Losses widened at Funding Circle after the peer-to-peer lender was hit by the “uncertain economic environment”.

The London firm saw pre-tax losses deepen to £31 million for the first half of the year, from £27 million over the same period in 2018.

Last month, Funding Circle warned investors that revenue growth would slow in the second half of the year as it tightens its lending to higher risk companies.

Revenues over the first half of 2019 increased by 29% to £81.4 million, but this growth was substantially offset by higher marketing and staffing costs.

Funding Circle said that its UK business saw the value of loans under its management surged 30% to £2.45 billion, while its UK revenues increased 24% to £53 million.

It added that around 15% of its UK loan portfolio has been affected “by a deterioration in the consumer credit environment since 2016”.

During the period, Funding Circle also showed a great reliance on existing customers, who provided 46% of revenues, up from 41% a year earlier.

Chief executive and co-founder Samir Desai said: “As previously announced, we expect to grow revenues by around 20% this year due to the uncertain economic environment and proactive actions we have taken.

“We remain confident in our aim to become the world’s largest small business loans provider, helping millions of businesses to create jobs and support economic growth.

“Small businesses remain under-served. Our platform allows them to access the finance they need in a fast and affordable way, whilst at the same time opening up a stable and attractive asset class to a broad range of investors.”

The FTSE 250-listed group, which was founded in 2010, has seen its share value slide dramatically since its initial public offering in September last year.

Shares in the company rose by 5.2% to 104p in early trading on Thursday.

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