KEY ACHIEVEMENTS, STRATEGY AND OUTLOOK
2016 was a pivotal year for the MCS Group. Several unprecedented events occurred during the year, confirming the transformation of our Group and the acceleration of its growth while remaining faithful to the core business and the model it has been pursuing for over 30 years.
Once again, we recorded marked organic growth in 2016, on both our debt purchasing business and our third-party debt collection business. Debt purchasing activities enjoyed strong collections as well as a record volume of acquisitions. Debt servicing activities benefited from the growth of volumes in existing contracts and from a promising business momentum, auguring an increased diversification of our activities in the future. At the same time, we continued to strengthen our human and technological resources so that our Group is in an optimal position to benefit from the growth of our markets, and therefore pursued the capital expenditures effort initiated two years ago . Under these combined effects, our operating income surged by 34% while we managed to maintain our principal profitability ratios at a constant level. Our ERCs also rose 9% over the year. Finally, we successfully carried out our first issue in the bond market in September 2016 in the amount of €200M, and we now have financial resources commensurate with the potential of our different businesses. Our performance over the last twelve
months validates the pertinence of the strategy that we initiated several years ago.
In our historical core business, purchasing bank debt portfolios, 2016 was remarkable in all regards. Gross collections for all of our portfolios reached €83M, up 10% compared to last year, with a significant contribution by all of our investment vehicles. That established the basis for our very strong financial performance this year. Furthermore, we had our best year in terms of portfolio purchases in over a decade with €49M in investments, half of which were made during the traditionally very active fourth quarter. These operations were completed both with our usual partners (some of whom have been our clients for over twenty years), but also with new banking institutions who carried out their first transaction on the French market in 2016. This momentum allowed us to establish our leadership in transactions of this type in France.
At the same time, we accelerated the diversification of our revenues through our debt servicing activities. The income from this business now represents 12% of our Group’s total revenues, and we confirm our goal of raising this percentage to a minimum 25% in the medium term. One of the principal contributors to growth is our sound loan management offer where we continued to enjoy promising prospects. An illustration of this is the contract with the Crédit Immobilier de France (CIF) Group, with whom we signed an agreement for services and a successor agreement providing for our takeover of the management and collection activities for loans to private individuals carried out from their Poitiers and Toulouse sites beginning April 1, 2017. For the CIF Group, this meets a dual objective of maintaining the quality of these activities and saving jobs.
For the MCS Group, this is a unique opportunity to become the undisputed leader in residential real estate loan management on behalf of third parties in France, to enlist the services of competent employees in new labor markets and to further diversify this revenue source: debt servicing activities will exceed 20% of the group’s total net revenues from 2017 onwards.