Praetura Group’s Lending Division has celebrated a record-breaking start to the year, with strong growth across all aspects of the portfolio, including the combined loanbook of the five businesses in the division increasing from £200m at the end of 2021 to over £251m.
Through its lending division, North West-based Praetura Group offers SMEs an alternative to traditional institutional lenders. It supports clients across almost every sector, providing funds between £5,000 to £20m to help businesses meet their own strategic objectives.
Kingsway Finance and Praetura Asset Finance have recorded their highest ever Q1 lending levels, lending over £20.7m through asset finance and term loan facilities to SMEs across the UK, predominantly delivered through their partnership relationships with broker networks.
At Kingsway Finance, the funding provided largely centred around delivery of their Recovery Loan Scheme term loan facilities, assisting a 13% year-on-year growth in the number of deals written. This followed its accreditation to the scheme by the British Business Bank in 2021. Praetura Asset Finance has seen a 20% increase in the number of deals written in Q1 2022, including year-on-year growth of 48% in asset refinance facilities.
Praetura Commercial Finance (PCF), which provides asset-based lending solutions to SMEs, saw a 300% increase in new origination introductions in the first quarter of the year and provided funding totalling £16m; utilising a combination of invoice discounting, property, equipment and cashflow lending. Total facilities provided by PCF to SMEs are now in excess of £130m.
After being founded by Praetura Group in the summer of 2021, Praetura Invoice Finance’s first Q1 saw over £4m of funding go to SMEs across a range of sectors including engineering, manufacturing, forensics, electric vehicles and even artisan spirits production. Over half of the deals written included collaborative funding solutions with other companies within the Praetura Group’s lending division, combining invoice discounting and factoring with asset refinance and commercial loans.
In April 2022, Praetura Group further added to their SME lending offering when it announced the acquisition of Chester-based Zodeq, an invoice finance business specialising in the recruitment sector.
Peadar O’Reilly, managing director of Praetura Group’s lending division, said: “The range of businesses our funding is assisting across the whole of the Praetura Group continues to expand. The record figures are proof that our relationship-led approach to funding is valued by SMEs and the brokers and advisers we work in partnership with.”
“Now more than ever SMEs need the support of funders that can adapt to specific individual circumstances. We have built talented teams throughout the Praetura Group that provide exactly that. Our company ethos is to provide more than money, which we will continue to do.”