H&T announces record lending and £4.3m acquisition of watch repair business
Pawnbroker H&T reveals record lending as cash-strapped Brits pawn valuables against loans
- H&T’s lien rose to £84.2m at the end of June from £48.3m a year earlier
- Lending volumes up 40% from pre-pandemic levels; Gold buying “lively”
- H&T buys Essex-based watch service and repair center Swiss Time Service
Britain’s largest pawnbroker has announced “record” lending as cash-strapped Britons pawned valuables such as gold jewelery in exchange for short-term loans.
H&T, which offers unsecured lending both in-store and online, said demand for mortgage loans continued to gain momentum in the first half of the year.
The lien, which includes thousands of short-term loans linked to customers’ property, stood at £84.2million at the end of June, down from £48.3million a year ago.
Positive: According to H&T, the demand for loans has increased steadily over the past year
The company, which specialized in personal loans and foreign exchange after the gold price plunge of 2012, said lending volumes are 40 percent higher than before the pandemic.
It unveiled the strong performance alongside the £4.3million acquisition of Swiss Time Services, a watch service and repair centre.
H&T, a longtime customer of Essex-based Swiss Time Service, expects to send in as many as 4,000 watches for service or repair this year.
H&T CEO Chris Gillespie said the deal was “an important strategic move” for the company.
“It allows us to bring watch expertise in-house and consequently improve margins and broaden the range of services we can offer our customers,” he added.
I look forward to working with Tony Coe and the amazing team at Swiss Time Services.
Swiss Time Services employs over 30 people and is an officially accredited service center for various prestige watch brands such as Omega and Cartier.
In a trade update ahead of full-year results, H&T also said its foreign exchange services revenue more than doubled in the first half as travel resumed, with transactions returning to near pre-Covid levels.
Meanwhile, retail sales have been “consistently strong” while gold buying has been “buoyant” thanks to a rising gold price “that has boosted both volumes and margins.”
Gillespie added: “I am pleased with the progress we have made in the first half of 2022 and the momentum with which we move into the second half.
‘I look forward to a full update on the market when we report on August 9th.’
H&T shares rose 3.6 percent to 333 pence in Monday morning trade. They have increased by around 22 percent in the past year.