2023 has been a challenging year on many fronts. There is hardly a household in Australia that is not feeling the effects of increasing inflation and cost of living pressures. COVID is still with us, albeit (thankfully) at a far less intrusive level, and its effects are still being felt across several market sectors.
At Zagga, we are pleased to have successfully navigated the turbulent waters of the past 12 months. We are mindful that while the major storms have mostly abated, there remain volatile conditions in the atmosphere. We need to keep our sails trimmed, our eyes firmly on the horizon, our hatches battened down and a strong hand on the tiller. That is no different to how we have operated since inception in 2017.
We close 2023 with a sense that economic and market conditions overall will start to improve, with some sunlight now peeking through the clouds. We look forward to sailing into less choppy waters.
Our lending book has continued to perform admirably this year, although it has not escaped the turbulence of the times. It is good to see loans now discharging, as borrowers achieve completion and pre-sales or other exit options kick in, and we hope that the delays in development which have been a feature of the last 18 month now start to ameliorate. We are equally pleased to note the return of investors, whose appetite has been subdued, but who now seem, either to have adapted to the higher rate environment, or are beginning to feel more confident in what the future holds.
We are very proud of our ‘no loss to investor’ track record since inception and work hard every day to maintain that goal.
Equally, we acknowledge the introducers and borrowers (of whom a large percentage are repeat) who continue to choose Zagga as their preferred funder.
Despite subdued and more difficult than usual trading conditions in 2023, we are buoyed by the deals we have written, some 30% increase over the same period last year, and the large pipeline awaiting funding. We have achieved a number of other important milestones this year, including:
Our team has grown to meet the expansion of our business, now with team members in Sydney, Auckland, Singapore and the Philippines.
They are the backbone of our business, demonstrating EXCEPTIONAL initiative, intelligence, teamwork, integrity and enthusiasm. Not to forget our Board and external advisers who so competently keep us on the straight and narrow and firmly focused on our core values and performance objectives.
I salute them all and could not think of a better crew with which to share this journey.
It all comes down, however, to our loyal investors, many of which have now accompanied us since June 2017, while we enthusiastically welcome new joiners every day. All of our investors have signed on through word-of-mouth referrals or warm introductions, and there can be no greater compliment paid than an existing investor trusting us well enough to refer another to our Zagga family. From the longest standing to the most recent, we genuinely and sincerely thank you for your support. We are mindful that there are many options available to our investors and remain firmly committed to our conservative approach of selecting quality investments targeted at delivering consistent returns at a moderate premium to the cash rate, without a commensurate increase in risk, which when viewed over time, represent meaningful returns. The bottom line is that protecting your capital is paramount.
We look forward to the continued support of all of our stakeholders as we sail into 2024. We are ready for whatever the conditions might be.
I take this opportunity of wishing you and yours a restful, relaxed and enjoyable Festive Season and a new year filled with good health, success and contentment.