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  • 9 years later...

Easton Investments Ltd (EAS) provides services to circa 3,000 accounting practices, over 150 financial planning firms and 530 licensed advisers

Our Company and its businesses have performed strongly after another challenging COVID affected year, reflecting the outstanding efforts, dedication and resilience of our people, and also due in part to the recurring nature of a significant portion of the Company’s income which is derived from professional support services and products delivered on-line to accountants and financial planners (advisers).

Recapping briefly on the major achievements of the last 12 months, we have:

  • Simplified the Company by reducing our number of business interests;
  • Strengthened our balance sheet and financial position (with a net cash position of $3.6m at 31 October 2021);
  • Recommended an offmarket proportional takeover offer from HUB24 Limited, which resulted in HUB24 becoming a substantial shareholder in Easton with a 31.5% interest;
  • Entered into an important strategic relationship with HUB24, encompassing a technology and distribution agreement, which provides future access to innovative technology and data solutions, specifically focused on repositioning Easton with a competitive advantage in the delivery of efficient, cost-effective solutions and services to advisers, accountants and their clients;
  • Acquired Paragem Limited, a licensee entity previously owned and operated by HUB24;
  • Appointed a new managing director, Mr Nathan Jacobsen, with effect from 1 February 2021;
  • Strengthened our Board with the appointment of a new non executive director, Mr Anthony McDonald; and
  • Reset the Company’s strategic plan with a more concentrated focus on achieving a step change in scale and capability to become a market leader in the delivery of services to accountants and advisers where our Company has a highly competitive position, defined strengths and widely recognised expertise.

At the same time, our Company has continued to perform extremely well, reflecting the high quality of our continuing businesses, the recurring nature of the income derived from those businesses and our business diversity across the accounting and wealth sectors where Easton is a leading provider of solutions and services.

Underlying Profit increased by 20% to $6.81m, an excellent result considering the adverse impact of COVID19 on face to face training, the loss of earnings from divested operations and the on-going investment in operational capability and efficiency.

Whilst some of our businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID19, the very nature of our businesses and the important role that they play, combined with our business diversity and dedicated staff, has held our Company in good stead. Our narrower focus on core businesses with an online service capability has allowed us to continue to meet the increased demands placed on our businesses, our people, our members and our advisers.

Cash flow generated from operations of $7.53m was a strong result, being broadly in line with Underlying Profit and contributed to the extinguishment of borrowings during the financial year.

A final dividend of 2.5 cents per share fully franked has been declared, bringing the full year dividend payment to 9.0 cents per share fully franked, including a special dividend of 5.0 cents per share fully franked paid in January 2021

On 24 Nov 2021, Easton Investments Limited (EAS) changed its name and ASX code to Diverger Limited (DVR).

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