HITACHI Capital (UK) plans to increase the scale of its Yorkshire operations after securing a ninth consecutive year of profit growth.
The financial services firm, which employs more than 450 people at its Leeds headquarters, reported profit before tax (PBT) of £116.4m in its last financial year, a rise of 7.1 per cent over the previous year.
Robert Gordon, inset, the CEO of Hitachi Capital (UK), said the firm planned to continue to grow and diversify its offering in Leeds.
He said Leeds was one of the biggest financial centres in Britain, and added: “It’s a great place to be with a good talent base.”
However, Mr Gordon said he was keen to see improvements to rail services across the North of England.
He added: “Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is now ranked among the fastest growing financial services firms in terms of sales growth, while our profitability makes us one of the top performers not only in the industry but also when compared to some of the UK’s biggest and most well-known companies.
“It’s particularly pleasing to demonstrate consistent, long-term growth within a challenging and competitive sector, and against a backdrop of general economic uncertainty. The processes, systems and strategies we’ve put in place provide a solid foundation for continued growth in the years to come.”
In relation to consumer finance, the business lent more than £2.3bn to more than 700,000 customers during this period and serviced around 1.2 million customers daily.
In the previous year the company lent £2bn of new business from the consumer finance division in Leeds.
Over the last financial year, Hitachi Capital (UK) announced plans for further European expansion with a new branch office opening in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The branch office is the second business Hitachi Capital has established in the Netherlands, following the recent acquisition of Noordlease Holdings B.V.
A spokesman said: “We are constantly looking at other opportunities to expand into Europe to ensure that we can service our UK customers in Europe, as well as meeting the demand from Hitachi and Mitsubishi group companies.”
The spokesman added: “Over time this may involve expanding the Netherlands operation, but this is not at the expense of our UK operations which is still the most profitable overseas subsidiary of the Hitachi Capital Corporation.”
Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC has more than 1,200 employees, £4.8bn of net earning assets and 1.2 million customers across its five business units.
It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Capital Corporation, one of Japan’s largest non-bank financial institutions.
The strong results for Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance are testament to the hard work and dedication of the company’s team in Leeds, according to Vincent Reboul, managing director of Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance,
He added: “It’s a fantastic achievement. Customers are continually looking for speed, control and a frictionless experience at all points of the customer journey.
“Whether that’s retailers looking for fast integration of point of sale finance, to customers applying online for the best loan... that’s what we do best.”