In its annual results AFH said it paused its acquisition drive in June 2020 to focus on cash generation due to the uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.
AFH has begun 2021 with an enlarged workforce. The latest financial results announcement showed that the Financial Planning firm had grown its employed adviser base throughout 2020, with a “strong pipeline of employed advisers” scheduled to join AFH in the first quarter of 2021.
The Financial Planning firm saw as sustained level of profits for the year. Underlying EBITDA rose 5% to £18.1m (2019: £17.2m) with profit after tax maintaining a similar level to the previous year at £10.7m (2019: £10.8m).
Funds under management remained steady at £6.2bn, the same figure as for the previous year.
The Financial Planning firm also reduced the outstanding contingent consideration on past acquisitions from £37.9m to £19.3m.
Underlying earnings per share increased to 34.1p (2019: 32.8p) and the dividend per share was maintained at 6.0p.
In its results, AFH said the board believes demand for Financial Planning-led wealth management services will continue and noted that toward the end of the reporting period it saw a gradual increase in net inflows of client funds.
Alan Hudson, group chief executive, at AFH said: "I am pleased to report on another year of progress at AFH towards our goal of becoming the UK's leading advice-led wealth management company. Despite the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the impact that it has had on our clients, advisers and staff, the company achieved both revenue and EBITDA growth whilst maintaining our EBITDA margin.
"The company continues to focus on the long-term needs of its clients and on reducing their overall cost of investing. Our clients entrust us to help them meet their financial planning objectives and we recognise that over a period of 20 years or more the cost of investing can represent a material cost compared to the original investment. For this reason, the company uses its size and buying power for the benefit of its clients.
"The AFH business model remains underpinned by the culture that is encapsulated in our values. The Board recognises the multitude of stakeholders served by the AFH community and seeks to balance the interests of all stakeholders when implementing its business strategy.
"In the coming months we expect our strong pipeline of employed advisers to join the firm, providing us with a significant boost to AFH's advisory capacity and geographical reach at a time when we see the demand for professional financial planning growing significantly.
"As reported, even prior to the pandemic's impact on global markets, 2020 was to be a year of consolidation for AFH and we are extremely pleased to have finished the period with a strengthened balance sheet, significantly reduced outstanding contingent considerations and strong cash balances.
"Trading remains in line with the board's expectations and the resilience shown throughout 2020 and in the first months of the new financial year leaves us confident for the year ahead.
"I would like to personally thank all our staff and advisers for the way in which they reacted to the changes and for the exceptional contribution that they collectively made to the Company and our clients."