H&T benefits from surging gold prices
Pawnbroker H&T Group said it anticipated its end of year results to be above the top end of current market forecasts as it benefits from surging gold prices that boosted its pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June.
Pre-tax profit for the six month period was £10.3 million, compared with £9.6 million a year ago.
H&T said trading has been especially strong in its core pawnbroking operations with year-on-year increases in the key performance indicators of both lending and redemption.
As a result, the gross pledge book has risen by 10.5% to £41.2 million and the group has delivered a 14% increase in its key revenue stream, the Pawn Service Charge.
John Nichols, chief executive, commented: "We are delighted to report another excellent set of results, with profit before tax of £10.3m for the first six months of 2011.
"Performance of the stores added in recent years continues to be excellent and supports the Board's view of the growth potential they offer. We have opened 15 new stores year to date, including the achievement of a significant milestone for the Group with the recent opening of our 150th store. In addition the Group currently has 45 Gold Bar retail mall units.
"The outlook remains positive and on the basis of the current gold price we are pleased to announce our expectation for full year results to be above the top end of current market forecasts. The Board has approved an interim dividend of 3.75 pence, which itself represents compound growth of 23% per annum since flotation.”
H&T, which was founded in London in 1897, currently has 150 stores and has said it expects to open a total of 25 stores this year.
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