Credit Corp says it expects to announce it made $10 million to $15 million in full-year profit, as it declares a major impairment to its books because debt collection is down due to pandemic-related unemployment.
The company on Monday estimated its underlying net profit after tax for fiscal 2020 would be between $75 million to $80 million, not counting the impairments.
The company made $70.3 million in profit in fiscal 2019, and had previously forecast $81 million to $83 million in net profit after tax in fiscal 2020, but withdrew that guidance in March as the pandemic hit.
The debt-collection company said since late March customers have been less prepared to agree and maintain longer-term repayment plans, although lately they have been increasingly willing to make one-off payments.
“This experience is consistent with reported unemployment rates in excess of 10 per cent,” said Credit Corp, which operates in Australia, New Zealand and the US.
As temporary government support measures are reduced, Credit Corp expects customers to be even less likely to pay debts.
In response, Credit Corp has been negotiating cheaper prices for the bad-debt books it purchases from banks, finance companies and telecommunication and utility companies.
Credit Corp said that for the next two years it expects to receive 18 per cent less from its purchased debt ledgers than it had previously forecast, and accordingly will write down their carrying value by 13.5 per cent.
“Credit Corp continues to produce solid operating outcomes and strong cash flows,” the company said.
It has no net debt and holds undrawn funding lines of $375 million.
“We have put ourselves in a strong position to operate confidently and maximise investment as opportunities arise during what is likely to be an extended period of uncertainty,” Credit Corp chief executive Thomas Beregi said.
The company will announce its final results for fiscal 2020 on July 28.