The UK’s largest pawnbroking group, H&T, has revealed a jump in profits in the first half of the year, despite “challenging trading conditions”.
In its unaudited trading update for the six months ending 30 June 2016, the company reported profit before tax of £3.7m – up 42.3% compared with the £2.6m recorded in the same period last year.
The performance was put down to various operational changes, including the company’s launch of a new higher value, lower annual percentage rate (APR) personal loan product to customers with good history and the development of a new high-end operation on London’s Old Bond Street.
The creation of a retail merchandising team to support sales and the enhancement of its leadership team to support new product development were also cited as reasons for the growth in profit.
John Nichols, chief executive, said: “This is a promising start to the year in the face of challenging trading conditions, with a strong operational performance aided by favourable market conditions around the gold price.
“We have reinvigorated and widened our product range to capture the opportunities presented by the ongoing changes in the wider market. The continued growth in our personal loans products and the recent increases in gold price, if sustained, will benefit the group during the second half of the year.”