Pawnbroker H&T takes a hit as more shoppers head to the web

H&T GROUP said it needs to become “more relevant” to its customers and appeal to people who would not usually consider entering a pawnbroker, as its 2014 pre-tax profit fell by 17.9 per cent year on year to £5.5m.

Basic earnings per share amounted to 11.78p, down from 13.44p in the prior year.

The company, with more than 180 branches in the UK, said revenue reached £87.7m, from £99.3m in 2013, while cost of sales reached £42m, down from £49.4m.

Chief executive John Nichols said the company is well-placed to achieve profitable growth again amid a changing sector.

Chairman Peter McNamara said work on improving the group’s balance sheet has been successful, reducing its net debt by 53.1 per cent to reach £9.7m at year-end.

He also said it is taking steps to tackle factors such as the increase in online retail use and falling footfall on UK high streets.