- Specialist finance provider to businesses 1pm said it expected to report a drop in annual profit amid a rise in bad debt provisioning owing to the Covid-19 crisis.

Pre-tax profit before exceptional items for the year through May was seen falling to £3.0m, down from £8.1m, largely thanks to £5.1m of provisioning.

The company said it has obtained additional funding under the UK government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, to help buffer the blow of loan forbearance.

1pm said that as of 31 May, it had granted forbearance of £0.9m to customers in respect of leases and loan deals with a portfolio value of £24.9m, representing 20% of its receivables.

It had obtained additional funding of £3.1m for its own business operations and arranged funding facilities of £6.3m to deploy as a lending partner under the government scheme.

'The strength of the group's balance sheet ... has enabled this forbearance to be granted without the group needing to request similar forbearance from its own funding partners,' 1pm said.

'This has enabled the group to stay open for new business throughout the period.'

Revenue for the year was seen falling to £29.1m, down from £31.8m.

1pm said the payment of interim and final dividends for the year would continue to be deferred until the business impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic became clearer.

'As a result of the available and welcomed government-backed business support schemes, the group has not seen a significant increase in borrower insolvencies and resulting portfolio write-offs,' chief executive Ian Smith said.

'In accordance with the group's cautious policies the board has, however, decided to account for an additional bad debt provision as at 31 May 2020 as a prudent measure.'

At 9:30am: [LON:OPM] 1pm PLC share price was -0.5p at 22p

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