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H&T profits surge as revenues rise in all key segments

By BFN News | 07:19 AM | Tuesday 15 August, 2017

H&T Group has reported a strong start to its 120th anniversary year with a 62.2% increase in first half pre-tax profits to £6m driven by revenue increases in all key segments. Gross profit increased by £3.3m to £28.5m (H1 2016: £25.2m) as a result of revenue growth in all key segments. The average gold price increased 15.5% to £983 per troy ounce for H1 2017 (H1 2016: £851), which was the main factor in a £0.6m increase in pawnbroking scrap gross profits. Total direct and administrative expenses increased 4.7% to £22.2m (H1 2016: £21.2m) with the largest components being additional costs associated with management of the personal loans growth and marketing costs. The group said its balance sheet was strong with net debt at £11.5m (30 June 2016: £6.9m) and a net debt to EBITDA ratio of 0.75x (30 June 2016: 0.57x), well within the covenant test of 3.0x. The group said it had available headroom on its debt facility of £9m at 30 June. The directors have approved an interim dividend of 4.3 pence (2016 interim: 3.9 pence). Chief executive John Nichols said: "We have made a strong start, in this our 120th anniversary year, with a 62% increase in profit before tax to £6m driven by revenue increases in all key segments. "The results reflect a series of initiatives beginning to bear fruit and a favourable gold price. "The growth in the personal loans book is pleasing. It has increased by 87.3% and there is scope to maintain this trajectory. "A combination of competitive pricing and increasing awareness has seen us establish ourselves in this market and customers are now actively seeking us out. "We have also broadened our product suite with the launch of our personal loan product providing APRs of less than 50%. This has taken many of our loyal customers on a journey which is now seeing them access longer term, lower cost loans. "We have also expanded our collection of high-end watches and the investment we have made in the website means we are now well placed to cement our position in this marketplace. "This is a milestone year in the history of H&T and the enhancements we have made across our business, which have redefined the pawnbroking model, allow us to look to the future with confidence." Story provided by

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