Revenue jumps 40% at UKIP donor Arron Banks' insurance business Eldon

Oscar Williams-Grut
United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) donor Arron Banks sits at a cafe opposite UKIP party headquarters on November 20, 2014 in Rochester, England. Polls have opened and voting is taking place in the Rochester and Strood parliamentary by-election. (Photo by )

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

LONDON — Revenue at UKIP donor and Brexit campaigner Arron Banks' insurance business jumped 40% to £47.3 million last year, accounts show.

Despite the rise in turnover, Bristol-based Eldon slipped from a profit of £284,000 in 2015 to a post-tax loss of £21,000, accounts filed with Companies House show.

Administrative expenses rose in line with turnover, hitting £47 million last year.

Operating profit at Eldon was flat for the year at £253,000. CEO Elizabeth Bilney, who is also the CEO of Leave.EU, wrote in the accounts that the flat profits reflect plans to reinvest money into the company's brands.

Eldon Insurance, which is owned by Banks, handles claims and is an insurance broker. It specialises in car insurance and operates under the brands GoSkippy, Footprint, and providing white label services for department store Debenhams.

Performance appears to have improved dramatically in the first half of 2017. The Mail on Sunday reported that operating profit in the first half of the year leapt to £16.7 million. Banks told the paper Eldon had also been using AI technology used in the Brexit campaign and said it has "transformed" the business.

Leave.EU, the campaign group Banks' funded, worked with Cambridge Analytica (CA), the data firm credited with helping Donald Trump win the US election, on an informal basis to help profile and target voters on Facebook.

Eldon is closely associated with Leave.EU, the unofficial campaign group for Brexit that was fronted by UKIP leader Nigel Farage. As well as Bilney serving as CEO of both Eldon and Leave.EU, Banks' was a major donor and the group's director of communications, Andy Wigmore, is also a director at Eldon.

Eldon's policy renewals rose by 30% in the year to 90,000, accounts show, while new policies rose by 35% to 299,000. New business jumped by 65% at its GoSkippy brand.

Banks told the Mail on Sunday that he hopes to list Eldon on the stock market in the new year at a valuation of up to £250 million.

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