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H&T Group: all that glistens

26/10/2009 · H&T Group (HAT) 

There was a cracking trading update from H&T Group (AIM:HAT), the UK's largest pawnbroker by size of pledge book, with the Group trading well ahead of current market expectations for the year.

With the yellow metal up approximately 30% in £Sterling terms in the year to date and now making regular appearances on our TV screens the Group has benefited considerably from higher gold purchasing volumes. 

Management commented that H&T identified the opportunity of building a retail network focused on gold purchasing in early 2009 and has opened 56 Retail Mall Units so far. These units are branded as H&T but operate separately from the pawnbroking store network. The Board is conscious that current volumes may not be sustainable and so has avoided locking in to a fixed cost structure for the new Retail Mall Units.

The core pawnbroking and retail business continues to trade in line with Board expectations. However, uncertainty as to the sustainability of either current gold purchasing volumes or related margins leads the management not to change its expectations for the Group for 2010.

12 new stores are expected to be opened in H2 2009, making 122…

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