- Pawnbroking business H&T reported a fall in profit in the first half of the year as Covid-19 related trading restrictions and reduced high street footfall weighed on performance.

For the six months ended 30 June 2021, pre-tax profit fell to £4.7 billion from £5.0 million as retail sales were up 26.5% to £12.4 million.

The company said it saw strong recovery in trading performance during May and June, and which continued into July following the pandemic impact and reduced footfall seen from January to April.

'Pawnbroking is the core business of H&T and recovering pledge lending to at least pre-pandemic levels is a key priority for the remainder of 2021 and beyond,' the company said.

The company approved an increased interim dividend of 4.0 pence, up from 2.5 pence per share a year earlier

'The positive trading momentum seen in the second quarter has continued in the third quarter with further growth in the pledge book to £52.2m as at 31 July 2021. We enter the second half of the financial year with growing confidence,' the company said.

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