SEA: AGM Statement
Provident Financial PLC
24 May 2005
The early months of 2005 have seen a reassuringly solid performance from our UK
home credit business. Although market conditions remain competitive and
customer numbers continue to reduce, we have managed the impact of this by
selectively increasing the amount of credit issued to lower risk customers. As
a result we have seen a modest growth in credit issued. Costs remain under
tight control and credit quality is stable.
Vanquis Bank has successfully expanded its credit card operations and increased
its direct mail volumes during the early months of this year. Customer numbers
are growing well and the business is developing to plan.
Yes Car Credit is trading at a loss. It continues to face tough market
conditions with lower sales volumes than in the buoyant early months of 2004 and
collections performance is worse than planned, leading to a higher than expected
IFRS impairment charge. We continue to work hard to improve the business: in
particular, to strengthen the quality and depth of management and to reduce
Provident Insurance is performing well. Policyholder numbers have stabilised at
around 500,000 and the benign development of claims costs that benefited last
year's results has continued.
The strong growth of customer numbers and credit issued in our international
division has continued. Credit quality is satisfactory with the exception of
Poland where, at this early stage of the year, we have seen a lower than
expected collections performance and a higher IFRS impairment charge. In Mexico
the expansion of the branch network in the Puebla-Veracruz region is progressing
well and the business is developing as planned. Overall, international
continues to grow well and has excellent prospects.
David Stevenson, Head of Communications
Tel: 01274 731111
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