Provident Financial to deliver results in line with expectations

Non-standard lender Provident Financial has said it expects to report results for 2012 in line with expectations, with pre-tax profit coming in at around 180m pounds.

Non-standard lender Provident Financial has said it expects to report results for 2012 in line with expectations, with pre-tax profit coming in at around 180m pounds.

The firm said that the Vanquis Bank continued to outperform expectations, and this compensated for a relatively subdued demand for credit in the Consumer Credit Division (CCD).

Home credit numbers at the end of the year totalled 1.827m, on par with the previous year, after weekly customer recruitment in the fourth quarter continued to benefit from a number of initiatives running through the field organisation.

In the fourth quarter pressure continued to be placed on disposable incomes as a result of increases in food and utility prices, meaning the firm's agents and customers have continued to be cautious and tight credit standards have remained in place.

As a result, sales through the peak trading weeks of the fourth quarter were approximately 2.5% lower than last year and receivables ended the year approximately 1% lower than last year.

In the same period Vanquis Bank generated strong growth and margins throughout the fourth quarter, with demand remaining strong and customer numbers ending the year up 30% at 899,000. Average receivables growth for the year was approximately 37%.

Peter Crook, Chief Executive, said: "I am pleased to report that the group has traded well through the fourth quarter of 2012 and expects to report results in line with market expectations.

"Both businesses enter 2013 with sound credit quality and the group's funding position remains very strong."

The company added that its funding position remains strong and that the headroom on its committed debt facilities at the year end mounted to approximately £190m which, together with the retail deposit programme at Vanquis Bank, is sufficient to fund maturities and projected growth into 2015.

The share price dipped 0.64% to 1,395p by 08:35.

NR

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