H&T Group

www.handt.co.uk TICKER: HAT     EXCHANGE: AIM

H&T Group is the largest British Pawnbroker, as measured by the size of its pledge book (loan book), with more than 100 stores. In 2007 it introduced gold purchasing for customers who wished to sell jewellery instead of borrowing against it. Other secondary activities include jewellery retailing, jewellery refurbishment and financial services: the latter is mostly unsecured lending until the next pay day but also includes cheque cashing, loans for longer periods and the provision of pre-paid debit cards. Pawnbroking, which continues to generate the largest share of the profits, is a growth sector of the economy and H&T has more than quadrupled revenue and profit since it floated on AIM in 2006. This is partly because pawnbrokers charge lower rates of interest than other lenders to sub-prime borrowers charge on unsecured loans.

LATEST REPORTS

 
Battered, but unbowed
Published: Feb 28 2014

H&T's profits of £7.4m, 56% below 2012 and dividends of 4.8p (down 60%) were disappointing, but unsurprising after a year which saw a 29% slump in the gold price and a leading competitor struggling. 
H&T suffered less badly than most of its rivals because its conservative lending policy allowed for setbacks in the gold price, and it has worked hard to expand retail sales as the best way of disposing of unredeemed pledges.
We expect current full-year profits to be modestly above £5m. At 182p H&T shares stand at a 7% discount to net tangible assets. If it achieves £5.25m pretax and eps of 11.3p, then we would expect them to maintain the dividend at 4.8p, giving a yield of 2.6% and PFER of 16.1x, an 12% discount to the General Financial sector. 
Time will tell if we have already seen the nadir of recent challenging years for pawnbroking, but the gold price has been more stable so far this year and the intensity of competitors shows signs of declining.
 
Stellar results
Published: Sep 01 2010

Largest British pawnbroker by size of pledge book

First half EPS up 99%

Despite strong move, shares still cheap on PFER of only 5.8x
 
Strong interims
Published: Sep 17 2009

Results over £1m ahead of expectations

Continued demonstration of strength of both pawnbroking and their model

Despite strong performance, shares still attractive on only 8.6x FPER

 
2008 results and review
Published: Jun 09 2009

Excellent figures ahead of expectations

Pawnbroking showing steady growth

Still undervalued versus market and quoted comparable

 
Double digit growth from non-cyclical business
Published: Mar 27 2009

H&T Group's 2008 results were again impressive, with profits before exceptional items up by 58%, Headline earnings per share up by 55% and IFRS eps up by 34%. The market has responded with a 9.5p rise in the share price, but that still leaves the group on a significantly lower rating than its principal comparator.
 
Trading Statement
Published: Jan 12 2009

H&T Group have just produced a pre-close trading statement which informs the market that they expect, yet again, to report better profits than the consensus forecast. There are two main reasons for this outperformance: one is the rise in the sterling gold price (partly through a rise in the $ price, but mostly as a result of the fall in the £:$ exchange rate), providing a smallish windfall by boosting the profit per ounce on sales of scrap gold, and a smaller one from the sale of unredeemed pledges, and the other is better-than-expected autumn trading, both in retail sales and gold purchasing.

 
Results well ahead of expectations; forecasts upgraded
Published: Aug 21 2008

Better than expected profits

Steady growth in core pawnbroking business

Retail jewellery sales growing strongly

Reliable low risk growth stock

ARCHIVE

2008
Pawnbroking; untouched by financial sector woes
Published: Jun 24 2008

Pawnbroking has proved to be virtually non-cyclical and has seen good growth

'Credit crunch' will increase need for small short term loans. Turnover and profit growth set to continue steadily

PFER below 10x is anomalous versus comparator and market. Fair value in short term seen at 240p / share, 30% above current prices

Excellent results
Published: Mar 25 2008

Capital reorganisation pays off

12 new stores opened

Lower rating than obvious comparator, yet growing faster

Long term target 300p vs current share price 191p

Positive trading update
Published: Jan 16 2008

H&T Group has done slightly better than analysts had forecast. After Signet's mildly disappointing reports on the retail jewellery market, we had expected a similar downturn in H&T's pre-Christmas jewellery sales, offsetting the benefits to pawnbroking from cutbacks in credit card lending. In the event, H&T saw a modest 3.6% increase in like-for-like retail jewellery sales in December in contrast to Signet's 3.1% fall in UK jewellery sales: trading down (in terms of price, not quality) from Signet to H&T outbalanced the effect of a shrinking market.

2007
Swings and Roundabouts
Published: Dec 03 2007

Pawnbroking not subject to broad retail sector woes

Reduction in unsecured lending to sub prime segment

Rise in gold price

Low-risk, non-cyclical growth stock
Published: Aug 28 2007

Interim results were better than expected

Acquired four stores since raising £7m in June

H&T trading at discount 15% to peer

Subprime worries do not worry pawnbrokers
Published: Aug 10 2007

Pawnbrokers likely beneficiaries from interest rate rise

Not reflected in recent share price fall

Placing and Acquisitions
Published: May 17 2007

H&T's share price has risen on the announcement of a placing of 3.6 million shares (11.4% of those currently in issue) to fund the cash element of acquisitions.
First results since IPO show strong progress
Published: Mar 22 2007

  • Retail margins better than expected
  • H&T Redemption ratio up to 78%
  • At under 16x PER 07 cheap vs market and peer group
H&T Group; positive trading statement, consequent ED upgrades
Published: Jan 10 2007

H&T have made a pre-close trading statement to prevent a false market in their shares because operating profits are estimated to be significantly (10%) better than the consensus forecast.

 

2006
H&T Group plc; leader in pawnbroking
Published: Dec 13 2006

  • H&T a leading player in pawnbroking, still a  misunderstood industry
  • Core market growing rapidly, and other financial services even faster
  • Well placed to consolidate the sector
  • Undemanding PFER for 2008 of 13.5x
  • Fair value 234p now, and 254p (medium term) vs 181p now