THE UK’s biggest pawnbroker has said half-year profits slumped by more than a quarter after its gold arm suffered as the price of the precious metal plunged.
But H&T Group put faith in its core pawnbroking business to offset the impact of the gold bubble bursting, with double-digit growth in both its pledge book and pawn service charge.
Pre-tax profits fell by 27.2% to £7.5m in the six months to June 30 following a £2m drop in profits at its gold business.
Gold prices peaked in the same period a year ago, having soared amid increased global recession fears.
Prices have since fallen by around 16%, while competitive pressures in the market have increased. H&T, which has 175 stores and 55 “GoldBar” units, said it had been braced for the gold rush to end and was shifting the focus on to its core pawnbroking division.