H&T Group plc ("H&T" or "the Group") is pleased to provide a trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2017.

H&T expects to report its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2017 on 13 March 2018.

The Board is pleased to announce that, following a strong quarter four performance for pawnbroking and retail, we expect the full year profit before tax to be above current market expectations.

The Group has delivered another good performance in its lending operations. The pledge book increased 11.6% to £46.1m (31 December 2016: £41.3m) as a result of the higher gold price, the concession format and an increase in loans on quality watches. The Personal Loans book has increased by 94.7% to £18.3m (31 December 2016: £9.4m) as a result of the expansion in our longer term, lower interest rate loan product.

John Nichols, chief executive, said: "We have made real progress in delivering the strategy in the past year. We have expanded the range of personal loan products available to enable our customers to access cheaper loans and provide an opportunity to rebuild their credit score.

“We have improved retail through an expanded range of new jewellery and the development of both click-and-collect and online sales.

"The Group’s performance over the past two years demonstrates the success of our strategy to access new customers and markets. Demand for our products remains strong and we look to the future with confidence."