H&T Group to pay interim dividend, confident its well-positioned for rest of 2020

“The group has a strong balance sheet, no debt and a good cash position," said John Nichols.

H&T GROUP PLC - H&T Group to pay interim dividend, confident its well-positioned for rest of 2020

H&T GROUP PLC (LON:HAT) has announced an interim dividend of 2.5p per share despite the challenges and impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The group's financial results for the six months ended June 30, 2020, revealed a 26.5% reduction in pre-tax profit to £5mln, while operating profit was 32.9% lower at £5.5mln, and diluted earnings per share dropped to 5p, down from 15p.

The pawnbroking firm noted that its net pledge book increased by 4.6% to $5.6mln, while its personal loan book reduced 43% to £10mln.

READ: H&T has restarted trading in all shops and is recovering

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.

In the results statement, H&T chief executive John Nichols told investors that the board is confident that the group is well-positioned to navigate the remainder of 2020 and beyond.

“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," Nichols said.

He added: “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 as we look to the rest of the year and enables us to declare an interim dividend of 2.5 pence per share.

"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.”

Quick facts: H&T GROUP PLC

Price: 269.5 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £107.43 m

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on 11/8/20

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