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Results for the year ended 31 December 2008

HIGHLIGHTS

Provident Financial plc (‘Provident Financial’) is the market-leading provider of home credit in the UK and Republic of Ireland, with a successful, developing credit card business. Its primary operations consist of the Consumer Credit Division, comprising Home Credit and Real Personal Finance, and Vanquis Bank.

Key financial results

  2008 2007 Change
Consumer Credit Division and Vanquis Bank:      
Customer numbers 2.17m 1.97m +10.2%
Average receivables £890.2m £756.4m +17.7%
Profit before tax from continuing operations £128.8m £115.2m +11.8%
Earnings per share from continuing operations:      
Basic 70.9p 40.9p  
Adjusted basic – note 5 70.9p 63.5p +11.7%
Final dividend per share 38.1p 38.1p  
Total dividend per share 63.5p 63.5p  

Highlights

  • Profit before tax from continuing operations up strongly by 11.8% to £128.8m (2007: £115.2m).
  • Headroom on committed funding facilities of over £250m.
  • £213.2m of bank facilities maturing in March 2010 extended to March 2011.
  • Full year dividend maintained at 63.5p (2007: 63.5p).

Consumer Credit Division

  • Continued, carefully managed growth in customer numbers, up by 6.8% from December 2007.
  • Stable impairment at 30.4% of revenue (2007: 29.7%).
  • Real Personal Finance market test progressing well.
  • Divisional profit before tax up 2.1% to £126.1m (2007: £123.5m) after absorbing higher early settlement rebates and further investment.

Vanquis Bank

  • Maiden full year profit before tax of £8.0m (2007: loss of £0.9m).
  • Stable impairment at 40.4% of revenue (2007: 39.7%).
  • Customer numbers up 27.8% and average receivables up 47.5% on December 2007, reflecting cautiously executed customer development programme.
  • Growth achieved notwithstanding significant tightening of underwriting and credit line increase criteria.

Peter Crook, Chief Executive of Provident Financial, commented:

“I am pleased to report results in line with expectations. The group has delivered high quality growth and a stable impairment performance in a difficult economic environment. We adopt a straightforward approach to lending with a strong focus on customer affordability in each of our businesses. Over a long period of time, this has proved to be the right formula and especially so during these turbulent times.

Despite operating in an increasingly under-served market where demand for our products is high, we have deliberately constrained customer growth to levels which are consistent with lending responsibly in the current environment as well as maintaining the appropriate balance between growth, credit quality and collections capacity. We maintain a uniquely close contact with our customers to ensure that we remain in touch with their current circumstances and can respond quickly to any changes.

The group has a strong balance sheet and has recently further strengthened its funding position. It has committed facilities of £1.1bn which provide headroom of over £250m with no scheduled maturities during 2009.

Despite the challenging economic background, Provident Financial remains very well placed to deliver further high quality growth in 2009.”

Enquiries  
Media
David Stevenson, Provident Financial 01274 731111
Nigel Prideaux, Brunswick 020 7404 5959
Eilis Murphy, Brunswick 020 7404 5959
Investor Relations
Stuart Caldwell, Provident Financial 01274 731111