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H&T Group profits soar as personal loan book almost doubles

The size of the personal loan book rose to £18.3mln while impairment charges were also lower

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A booming personal loan book and strong sales of luxury second-hand watches and jewellery lifted pawnbroker H & T Group PLC (LON:HAT) last year.

Group profits jumped 45% to £14.1mln in 2107, helped by a near doubling of personal lending to £18.3mln while average impairment charges were also lower.

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In pawnbroking, the pledge book rose by 11% over the year to £43.4mln outstanding on average.

Online jewellery was also strong said John Nichols, chief executive, with sales through the est1897.co.uk website rising ten-fold to £1mln.

After a sharp rise in the sterling price of gold immediately following Brexit, the pound has rallied and the effect was reversed in 2017 even though there was a rise in the amount of gold scrapped.

Nichols added H&T has taken steps to reduce exposure to gold price volatility in future.

Personal loans and our est1897.co.uk online jewellery sales were particular highlights, he added, and “there is significant scope to continue to grow these aspects of the business”.

"We have produced a strong trading performance which is due in no small part to the initiatives which we have implemented over the past few years."

Current trading for 2018 is in line with management expectations, the statement added.

Quick facts: H&T GROUP PLC

Price: 386 GBX

LSE:HAT
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £153.34 m
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