Pawnbroker H&T taps investors for £17m to expand amid surging demand

Lender H&T raises £17m to open more stores as cash-strapped Brits pledge valuables for loans

  • H&T seeks to open another 20 new stores in 2023
  • The commitment book increased by 78% to £89.6m between the end of June and the end of August
  • The placement of shares for institutional and retail investors at 425 pence was ‘oversubscribed’

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H&T, Britain’s largest pawnbroker, has raised £17m from investors to expand the business amid growing demand from customers struggling due to the cost of living crisis.

Company boss Peter McNamara said they will use the funds raised to grow their “book of commitments” and open more stores “in a careful and measured way.”

It comes as this summer H&T said the level of “pledged loans” – where customers borrow money against valuable items including watches and jewelry – was at a record high.

H&T said a drop in revenue prompted more customers to borrow money against valuable items.

H&T said a drop in revenue prompted more customers to borrow money against valuable items.

Demand has continued to rise since then, with H&T’s book of commitments at £89.6m at the end of August, up 78 per cent compared to £50.2m at the end of June.

Bosses said the strong demand was a result of both a reduction in the number of lenders offering short-term credit and a drop in disposable income.

“Current market conditions are encouraging for us given the reduction in the number of lenders offering short-term, small-dollar credit and, increasingly, the impact of inflationary pressures on disposable income,” said Chief Executive McNamara. .

“This demand is not expected to decrease in the short to medium term,” the company added.

This demand is not expected to decrease in the short or medium term.

He noted “consistently strong sales through the summer,” with second-hand jewelry and watches among the most pawned items.

This market “remains an attractive growth segment of the overall jewelry market,” the company said.

In light of strong demand, it is looking to open another 20 new stores in 2023 to support growth.

H&T announced the placement of shares at the price of 425 pence last night and today said it had oversubscribed.

The total number of new shares represents approximately 10 percent of the group’s total share capital.

It raised the funds from institutional investors as well as retail investors through the PrimaryBid platform.

H&T shares listed on AIM they were down 0.4 percent at £4.36 in early trading on Friday.

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