International Personal Finance PLC (LON:IPF) saw its shares rise on Wednesday as the group managed to improve profits across all its businesses in 2018, namely home credit in Europe and Mexico, as well as IPF Digital, in spite of tax issues in Poland.
For the year ended 31 December 2018, the FTSE Small Cap firm saw its adjusted pre-tax profits increase by 16% to £109.3mln, broadly in line with consensus forecasts, as revenue rose by 4.1% to £866.4mln.
The home credit group recorded a 5.5% rise in credit issued to £1.36bln, while the number of customers increased by 0.5% to 2.3mln. The group maintained its credit quality with impairments amounting to 26.2% of revenues.
IPF's chief executive Gerard Ryan said: "We are particularly pleased with IPF Digital's profit trajectory, with a strong contribution from established markets and reduced start-up losses within new markets, driven by both excellent customer acquisition and strong credit growth."
The group maintained its dividend at 12.4p per share.
In early afternoon trading, shares in IPF were up 5.6% to 204.4p.
In a note to clients, analysts at Shore Capital maintained a ‘hold’ rating on IPF, saying: “We currently see fair value at 205p (3% upside) before model roll-forward and post results forecast updates. However, this includes a 25% ‘haircut’ for regulatory risk, primarily associated with the issues in Poland.”