SUB-PRIME lender Provident Financial boosted its 2013 pre-tax profit by 9.9 per cent to £196m, it said yesterday, helped by strong growth from
Vanquis, which lends small amounts and helps some customers rebuild their credit ratings, saw its customer base grow by more than a fifth, with pre-tax profit jumping almost 60 per cent to £113.7m.
Provident said that it was paying a final dividend of 54p per share, up 11.6 per cent, making a total dividend for 2013 of 85p, up 10 per cent and in line with expectations. The company said it had made a strong start to the first two months of 2014.
However, the company, which provides credit to the approximately 10m people in
Provident said that it had laid off 520 workers as part of a drive to cut costs.
Pre-tax profit in the division fell 16.6 per cent to £102.5m.
"Good progress is being made in repositioning the home credit business as a leaner, betterquality, more modern, high-returns business," Crook said, adding that the group had made a "good start in the first two months of 2014".
Analysts said the results were in line with forecasts and the company's pre-results announcement last month.
Shares in Provident Financial rose 0.9 per cent to close at 1,880p yesterday, the firm's highest ever closing price.
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