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H&T Group plc, which trades under the H&T Pawnbrokers and est1897 brands, today announces its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2016.

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.”

Key financial results

  • Profit before tax up 42.3% to £3.7m (H1 2015: £2.6m)
  • Basic EPS of 7.99p (H1 2015: 5.53p)
  • Net debt reduced by 22.5% to £6.9m (30 June 2015: £8.9m)
  • Pledge book increased by 4.3% to £39.0m (30 June 2015: £37.4m)
  • Personal Loan book increased 85.3% to £6.3m (30 June 2015: £3.4m)
  • Pawn Service Charge down 1.4% at £14.1m (H1 2015: £14.3m)
  • Other Services income increased 68.8% to £2.7m (H1 2016: £1.6m)
  • Interim dividend of 3.9p (2015 interim: 3.5p)

Operational highlights

  • Launch of the new higher value, lower APR personal loan product to customers with good history
  • Development of a new high-end operation on Old Bond Street, London
  • Creation of a retail merchandising team to support stock efficiency and sales
  • Enhancements to the field operations and leadership team to support new product development