Payday lender Wonga has reported a net profit after tax increase of 36 per cent to £62.5m, which the firm said "showed expansion and growth across its business."
The company is now expanding internationally, as its total lent rises from £707.5m to £1.2bn in the same period. Wonga now employs over 500 staff in five countries - the UK, South Africa, Canada, Poland and Spain.
Joe Rundle, head of trading, ETX Capital commented on the results:
Wonga has received criticism over its operations but clearly, it serves a purpose in the UK market and will continue to do so until lending is back on board for low-income earners and UK banks show greater willingness to adjust risk-profiles for their customers.
That does also mean that this record rise in profit at Wonga could be a one-off event, as resurging growth in the UK, increase in consumer and business confidence and better liquidity conditions are likely to push the UK customer back into High Street bank branches for better, competitive and assured loans.
Now Wonga is offering to help the Church of England with its plans to provide lending, saying that it could provide techical expertise and other help.
Errol Damelin, founder and CEO of Wonga, said:
We are meeting a mainstream demand for small, short-term loans in a digital, transparent, flexible and responsible way. We are also one of Britain’s most successful technology businesses. From a start-up just six years ago, we now employ over 500 people on several continents.
When we decided we wanted to provide short-term loans within 30 minutes, the financial industry incumbents told us it couldn’t be done, but we found a way to do it responsibly, effectively and at scale. We will keep on challenging conventional practices to provide customers with the service they want and deserve in the 21st century.