With High Street banks cutting the amount of unsecured loans by a fifth since the collapse of Lehman Brothers three years ago, demand for traditional lending by pawnbrokers has soared.
The country's largest chain H&T saw profits rise 14 per cent to £23.5m while the pledge book (outstanding loans book) increased by 18 per cent to £46.6m.
The growth was also fuelled by the 24 per cent leap in the price of gold during 2011, which drove traffic at its pop-up GoldBar units in shopping malls.
The group plans to add another 25 outlets this year to the 166 it already has. The full-year dividend is up 13 per cent to 10.75p.Reuse content