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Friday 07 December, 2018


Trading Statement

RNS Number : 7438J
07 December 2018

7 December 2018


S&U plc

    ("S&U" or "the Group")




S&U plc, the specialist motor finance and bridging lender, announces its trading update for the period from 1st August to 6th December 2018.  Irrespective of recent economic and political uncertainty, S&U is pleased to confirm that current trading indicates full year results broadly in line with expectations.


Motor Finance

Although recent months have seen a slowdown in the motor industry compared to the highs of recent years, the impact on the used car finance market in which S&U operates has been less marked.  Nevertheless, a combination of the slight reduction in the record level of loan applications seen in July, Advantage's prudently tightened under-writing and some recent increase in competitive pressure, has seen new loan agreements in the year to date at 18,710.  Whilst 7% less than last year, these are still the second highest volumes in Advantage's history by a comfortable margin.


Both Advantage's customer base and current net receivables continue to grow and, while at a slower rate than previously anticipated, they are both at record levels.  The former now stands at 59,000 and the latter at £267m. The quality of this book remains high, as evidenced by the year to date risk adjusted yield against average monthly receivables of 25.0% against 25.4% in July.  Year to date monthly collections are 18% up on last year at just under £115m and are beginning to evidence the improvement in new customer quality on which our under-writing policy is focussed. All this is consistent with maintaining Advantage's return on capital employed before cost of funds at around its current level of 15.0% (July 18: 15.4%).


As a result, Advantage remains well placed to take advantage of an upturn in the motor finance market when consumer confidence improves.


Property Bridging Finance

As we announced recently, Aspen Bridging has made good progress and has now moved out of its pilot stage. Its loan book has now reached £18m of net receivables (2017: £9m).


In a competitive market it continues to maintain margins and refine its flexible and bespoke bridging products. In particular, its stepped products have proved both popular and profitable and this has been reflected in Aspen's good repayments profile.


We anticipate increasing our total investment in Aspen to c.£30m in 2019 and further funding will be dependent on Aspen's requirements and performance.



Since the recent economic climate and trends within the business have seen the Group become more cash generative, S&U's current committed facilities of £135m provide ample and sensible headroom for the business's anticipated growth. Further facilities will be put in place as required.


Commenting on the Group's performance and outlook, Anthony Coombs, S&U Chairman, said:


"At a time of considerable political and economic uncertainty in the UK, I am pleased to say that S&U retains a very strong financial base, growing expertise and experience and a prudent business philosophy which will enable us to make the most of the opportunities presented by the motor and property markets as 2019 unfolds." 


"In a fast changing world these enormous strengths underpin our ability to continue to provide steady, sustainable growth for our shareholders."



For further information, please contact:



Anthony Coombs, Chairman                                                                                     0121 705 7777


Newgate Communications

Bob Huxford, Imogen Humphreys                                                                           020 7653 9848


Peel Hunt

Adrian Trimmings, Rishi Shah                                                                                   020 7418 8900



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