What H&T does
Its pawnbroking business buys and sells used jewellery, watches, gold, handbags and art.
The group also provides in-store personal loans of up to £5,000 and sells foreign currency to holidaymakers.
In 2020 it implemented an online pawnbroking payment portal to settle loans remotely.
How it is doing
The AIM-listed firm announced an interim dividend of 2.5p per share despite the challenges and impacts of the coronavirus.
In the six months to June 30, pre-tax profit fell 26% to £5mln, while the net pledge book increased by 4.6% to $5.6mln, while its personal loan book reduced 43% to £10mln.
The company was debt-free at the end of June and net assets increased by £19.3mln to £126.9mln, compared to £107mln at the end of first-half 2019.
H&T reopened its estate in a phased manner starting in May, following two months of closures in light of the pandemic.
What the boss says: John Nichols, chief executive
"The group has a strong balance sheet, no debt and a good cash position. This will enable us to build back our pawnbroking book, a resilient secured asset in times of economic uncertainty, and deliver our long-term growth plans which remain intact."
“Our results reflect the impact of Covid-19 on our business and the closure of our stores from 24 March, all of which have since reopened. While our revenues and profits reduced in this unprecedented environment, our focus on costs and cash generation leaves us presently well positioned."
"Pre lock-down the group was well on track to deliver revenue growth and increased profitability, underpinned by our diversified income streams, increased footprint and investment in digital initiatives. With lock-down in March we closed all stores in order to protect colleagues and customers, and we have launched our online payment portal."
“We also froze interest on pawnbroking loans while our stores were closed and have offered payment deferral arrangements to those lending customers impacted by the financial implications of Covid-19.”
- Investment in digital presence as more customers shift to online
- Strong gold price is adding to good performance
- Recovery as estate reopens post-lockdown