Express & Star

Pawnbroking group H&T sees profits increase

The UK's largest pawnbroking group has reported a rise in profits.

H&T has shops across the Black Country

H&T saw pre-tax profit rise to £6.7 million for the six months ended June 30 2022, compared with £4.7m during the same period last year.

The firm, which has shops in the Black Country and Kidderminster, also saw retail sales increase from £12.4m to £20.8m. It said the rise in sales reflects an increasing demand for high quality new and pre‐owned jewellery and watches.

Net income from other services increased from £8.3m to £9.4m, driven by buoyant gold purchasing, particularly during the second quarter, and a doubling of foreign currency revenues as international holiday travel returns.

The pledge book grew 27 per cent to £85.1m with demand for pledge lending remaining at record levels.

Chris Gillespie, H&T chief executive, said: "We have a proud history and the growth we have seen in the first half of this year has been very encouraging. We experienced increasing momentum across our product set, customer base, and geographical locations. This has continued into the second half.

"I am delighted that we recently concluded the acquisition of Swiss Time Services, allowing the group to add watch repair services to its product offering, which aligns well with our broader watch strategy. We look forward to the opportunities and synergies this acquisition will bring to the group.

"We continue to invest, both in our store estate to take advantage of the ongoing strong demand for our services, and the opportunity to expand beyond our current footprint. We remain focused on enhancing the group's IT infrastructure and digital capabilities. We have begun the roll out of the new Point of Sale (POS) system in our stores, with full roll out expected to be completed before the end of 2022.

"The positive trading momentum which began in late in 2021 has continued into 2022, with monthly demand for pledge lending growing, consistent appetite for our new and pre‐owned retail products, and a strong rebound in gold purchase and foreign currency sales. We anticipate that demand for our services will continue to grow in the months ahead, and we are investing in scale and capabilities, both operational and technological, in order to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us."

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