Second-hand goods seller Cash Converters has got off to a much better start to its financial year than expected, helped by its increased presence on Britain's high streets.
Earnings before interest and tax in the three months to the end of September were up 43.3% year-on-year to $14.2m, driven by the continued strong performance of the personal loan books.
The international group said its UK loan book had made a particularly good start to the year with the value of the book up 146.1% from a year earlier to £15.3m.
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While the rush of Brits to pawn their belongings might be seen as a worrying sign for the UK economy, Cash Converters had some comforting news in that bad debt levels in the UK have stabilised.
The group's online offering in the company's Australian homeland is also growing strongly, with the web shop platform now racking up sales of around £0.25m a month.
The company is currently implementing a new point of sale system which will include an application to display what is on offer in each Australian shop. The idea is to roll out this platform to the UK chain of shops. The directors expect this to increase the sale of goods online.
"The September quarter was exceptionally strong and has exceeded our expectations," said Peter Cumins, the Managing Director of Cash Converters.
"Particularly pleasing, but not surprising, is the growth we have achieved in the UK as our efforts and focus on corporate store acquisitions and growing the personal loan book is beginning to contribute strongly to our earnings," Cumins added.
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