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

Strong group performance and further dividend increase
First half pre-tax profit up 17.0% to £72.9m (2011: £62.3m).
Basic earnings per share up 19.8% to 41.1p (2011: 34.3p).
Interim dividend per share up 7.9% to 28.8p (2011: 26.7p).
Very robust funding and capital position
Group fully funded into 2015.
Modest reduction in gearing to 3.1 times (2011: 3.3 times).
Stable Consumer Credit Division performance in challenging market conditions
Pre-tax profit similar to last year at £50.4m (2011: £50.2m).
Year-on-year receivables flat and trading result underpinned by stable collections performance, continued application of tight credit standards and effective cost control.
Strong growth and returns in Vanquis Bank
Pre-tax profit up by 60.2% to £28.2m (2011: £17.6m).
Customer and average receivables growth of 27.4% and 34.8% respectively from continuing investment in customer acquisition programme.
Risk-adjusted margin1 of 34.9% (2011: 34.7%) versus minimum target of 30% with delinquency continuing to run at an all-time low for the business.
Polish business infrastructure successfully established and first credit cards issued in June.
Key financial results
     H1 2012    H1 2011    Change
Customer numbers    2.6m    2.4m    5.5%
Average receivables    £1,273.0m    £1,151.5m    10.6%
Pre-tax profit    £72.9m    £62.3m    17.0%
Basic earnings per share    41.1p    34.3p    19.8%
Interim dividend per share    28.8p    26.7p    7.9%
Peter Crook, Chief Executive, commented:
“I am pleased to report a strong set of results for the first half with earnings per share up 19.8% and a 7.9% increase in the interim dividend.

The group’s funding position is extremely robust and allows us to execute in full on our growth plans into 2015.

The consistently cautious approach to extending credit in both businesses has reinforced credit quality and provides a sound basis for delivering good quality growth for 2012 as a whole.”

Enquiries:    Today    Thereafter
David Stevenson, Provident Financial    020 7404 5959    01274 351351
Gill Ackers/Nick Cosgrove, Brunswick    020 7404 5959    020 7404 5959
Investor Relations          
Gary Thompson, Provident Financial    020 7404 5959    01274 351351

Revenue less impairment as a percentage of average receivables for the 12 months ended 30 June.