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Results for the year ended 31 December 2009

Provident Financial plc (“Provident Financial”) is the market-leading provider of home credit in the UK and Ireland, with a successful, developing credit card business. Its primary operations consist of the Consumer Credit Division and Vanquis Bank.

Key financial results

  2009 2008 Change
       
Customer numbers 2.3m 2.22m 5.5%
Average customer receivables
£1,139.3m £1,063.3m 7.1%
       
Profit before tax and exceptional costs £130.1m £128.8m 1.0%
Basic earnings per share before exceptional costs 71.4p 70.9p 0.7%
       
Profit before tax £142.0m £125.7m (2.45)
Basic earnings per share 67.5p 70.9p (4.8%)
       
Final dividend per share 38.1p 38.1p -%
Total dividend per share 63.5p 63.5p -%

Highlights

Group

  • Profit before tax and exceptional costs up £1.3m to £130.1m (2008: £128.8m).
  • Careful management of the balance between growth, impairment and costs in both divisions supported by tighter underwriting criteria.
  • Balance sheet strength and liquidity enhanced further through £250m 10-year senior public bonds issued in October 2009 and recent extension of banking facilities totalling £380m to May 2013.
  • Substantial year end banking headroom of £331.0m (2008: £251.2m) and sound gearing ratio of 3.3 times
    (2008: 3.2 times).
  • Full-year dividend of 63.5p per share maintained.

Consumer Credit Division

  • Growth in home credit customer count of 5.1%.
  • Demand for credit tempered by increasingly cautious behaviour of customers during peak fourth quarter period, exacerbated by adverse weather conditions in December.
  • Credit quality of receivables book remains sound, assisted by investment in field collections capacity at start of year.
  • Tight management of costs throughout 2009 and efficiency programme implemented for 2010.
  • Market test of Real Personal Finance completed and, in current market conditions, direct repayment lending to be focussed solely on known prospects sourced from home credit branch network and customer database.

Vanquis Bank

  • Pre-tax profit up 76.3% to £14.1m (2008: £8.0m) with business on track to deliver its medium-term target of a 30% post-tax return on equity by the end of 2010.
  • Profit performance supported by a risk-adjusted margin* of 30.1% (2008: 31.8%) achieved through active management of line utilisation and revenue yield.
  • New medium-term target to grow receivables to £450m by the end of 2012 whilst maintaining a post-tax return on equity of 30%.

*Revenue less impairment as a percentage of average receivables for the 12 months ended 31 December. 

Peter Crook, Chief Executive of Provident Financial, commented:

“I am pleased with the solid performance we delivered in 2009. We carefully positioned our businesses for turbulent market conditions well ahead of time and, as a result, we were able to maintain the flow of credit to our customers whilst keeping tight control over impairments and costs. In 2009, customer satisfaction levels remained high, with a measure of 94% in our home credit business being a strong endorsement of how much customers value our service.

Our funding position and balance sheet have recently been strengthened further, leaving us well placed to continue this approach and deliver good quality growth in market conditions that are unlikely to improve this year. Looking beyond 2010, the fall-out from market turmoil reinforces the medium-term opportunity to build a leading position in the UK non-standard consumer lending market.”

Enquiries: Today Thereafter
Media    
David Stevenson, Provident Financial 020 7404 5959 01274 731111
Nigel Prideaux/Eilis Murphy, Brunswick 020 7404 5959 020 7404 5959
     
Investor Relations    
Gary Thompson, Provident Financial 020 7404 5959 01274 351351