Morses Club reports strong first half as it adapts to Covid changes

Credit lender Morses Club has reported a strong first half performance and said it has traded in line with market expectations.

Paul Smith, chief executive of Morses Club

The Batley-based firm said it continued to evolve over the first half of the year to meet changing customer needs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company's strategy is to become a more complete provider of non-standard financial products and services and it said that this continues at pace.

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In the digital lending division, customer numbers for both short term and long term lending have increased and stood at over 46,000 at the end of the 26 week period to August 28. This was an increase of 100 per cent since the end of the 2021 financial year.

The gross loan book was £35.7m, an increase of 194 per cent against the yearend. Credit issued has increased by 271 per cent, from £9.1m to £24.7m.

The firm said that the quality of lending in the digital division remains high, with collections performance in line with management's budgeted plan.

Morses said its home collected credit division performed in line with expectations, with customer numbers at over 143,000 at the end of the period.

The firm said it continues to focus on the quality of its lending.

Total credit issued was £53.1m, 17 per cnet above management's budgeted plan and 4 per cent higher than the equivalent period the previous year, despite tightening credit policy to further enhance the quality of lending.

The gross loan book was £95.8m, up from £80.5m in the previous period.

The group said it is adapting to a structurally changing home credit sector where, despite the removal of Government restrictions, the group's digital offering remains very popular. Nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of all lending is now cashless, while 86 per cent of payments are cashless.

Paul Smith, chief executive of Morses Club, said: "I am pleased by the progress the group has made over the first half of the year.

"We have seen strong demand for our products as the market has re-opened and with the ongoing economic recovery we expect this to continue.

"Our long term strategy to evolve into a more complete provider of non-standard financial services products and the reduced competition in the home collected credit and digital sectors is likely to be to our benefit.

"I look forward to the future with confidence as we continue to provide our customers with products and services to support their financial needs."