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12/05/2015

Record year sees Finance Wales Group increase its impact on the Welsh economy

Best ever year sees Finance Wales create or safeguard over 2,800 jobs and has a £104m impact on the ‘Welsh funding gap’ as investments in Wales increase by 46%.


Highlights for the 2014-15 financial year

Finance Wales

  • 2,897 jobs created or safeguarded, exceeding annual target by 39%
  • Record £48.2m invested – up 46% from £33m in 2013-14
  • £56.2m additional investment leveraged
  • £104.4m growth capital injected into the Welsh economy
  • 231 investments in 164 businesses
  • 4 profitable exits achieved, including 2 of Finance Wales’ most profitable exits/investment realisations 

xénos, the Wales Business Angel Network

  • £2.2m business angel investment facilitated
  • £100,000 additional investment leveraged
  • 25 investments

FW Capital (managing funds for other bodies)

  • £16.1m invested – up 4% from £15.5m in 2013-14

Finance Wales Group

  • Record £66.5m invested – up 32% from £50.4m in 2013-14

Loans and other investments by Finance Wales helped small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Wales create or safeguard 2,897 jobs in the 2014-15 financial year, exceeding its annual target by 39%.

Finance Wales’ annual investment levels rose by £15.1m to £48.2m as all funds managed by the Welsh Government subsidiary in Wales achieved or exceeded target.  Investment facilitated by xénos, the Wales Business Angel Network increased the overall amount invested in Welsh SMEs by £2.2m to £50.4m.

These investments attracted additional investment totalling £56.2m to inject over £100m into the Welsh economy.

In its best year since it was established in 2001, the Group invested a record £66.5m – a 32% increase on its previous record in 2013-14.

FW Capital’s investment levels rose for the fifth year to £16.1m, helping to create or safeguard jobs in the North East and North West England and providing a growth capital boost of £27.8m.

Welcoming Finance Wales’ announcement, Chairman, Ian Johnson said: “We’re continuing to invest at record levels and the last financial year is Finance Wales’ best yet.  Our impact on the Welsh economy increased by over £100m to £856m and since 2001 our investments have helped create or safeguard more than 38,000 jobs in Wales.
 
“Finance Wales invests for the long term and this can be felt throughout the Welsh economy.  In addition to creating and safeguarding jobs, our investments attract businesses to Wales, create new opportunities for local suppliers as well as encouraging innovation and research and development.  The businesses we’ve invested in will continue playing a key role in the future growth of the Welsh economy.”
 
The launch of the Wales Capital Growth and Wales Technology Seed Funds in 2014-15 together with the other Welsh Government funds launched since 2012, have boosted Finance Wales’ ability to back SMEs’ short and long-term funding needs.

Group Investment Director, Mike Owen added: “We can now invest in more Welsh SMEs than ever and we achieved or exceeded our investment targets for all our Welsh funds in 2014-15. We also exceeded our annual jobs target by 39%.  Welsh SMEs are clearly more confident, going for growth and turning to Finance Wales for the backing they need.
 
“They like our ability to tailor our investments to suit their short and long-term funding needs as well as our locally based investment staff.  We’ve recently made a number of key appointments to our investment teams to build even stronger relationships with SMEs all over Wales and maximise the impact of our investments.”

Welsh SMEs have benefited from £337 million of investment from Finance Wales. These investments have also leveraged additional investment totalling £519 million, taking its total impact on the Welsh economy to £856 million. With Finance Wales’ backing, Welsh SMEs have created or safeguarded 38,454 jobs in Wales.