UK based Pawnbroker business H&T Group increased its profit-before-tax by 37.8 per cent during the last year, according to preliminary results released today.
Its gross pledge book rose to £39.5 million for the year ending December 31st, representing an increase of 7.9 per cent in pre-aged pledge balances.
H&T opened 13 new stores in the year, taking its total portfolio to 135, and the board has reported better than expected performance for the outlets opened since 2009.
John Nichols, CEO of H&T, commented: “I am pleased to report a strong year for H&T with continued profit growth and excellent cashflow generation. A final dividend of 6.0p is proposed, taking the full-year dividend to 9.5p, a 17 per cent increase on 2009.
“The Group experienced strong lending and underlying pledge book growth during 2010. Continued success in the gold purchasing market and high disposition margins in both purchasing and pawnbroking activities have also led to a substantial cash generation.”
The success of H&T in recent years is indicative of the pawnbroking business which has increased its presence on UK high streets by 44 per cent since 2008.
Currently the second biggest in the domestic pawnbroker sector, H&T has consistently held around 15 per cent of the UK market over the last three years.
Net debt is down to £27 million at the company, compared to £42.3 million twelve months ago, and 15 to 20 stores are expected to be opened in 2011.
Nichols added: “Current trading continues to perform in line with market expectations and I am pleased to announce that H&T is the UK’s first pawnbroker to secure a pledge book of over £40 million.
“We also continue to successfully implement our growth strategy, with provisional lease terms currently agreed on a further 14 sites.”