IPF sees further growth in 2018

IPF's headquarters in Leeds
IPF's headquarters in Leeds
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Credit lender International Personal Finance has published stronger than expected 2017 results​ and said it expects to see further growth this year.

The Leeds-based firm, which provides small personal loans to borrowers in Europe and Mexico, said pre-tax profit rose to £106m in 2017, up from £96m the previous year.

​The group has​ introduced more competitive rates in its home credit products in Europe through longer-term lending, as it deals with regulatory oversight of its consumer credit markets.

I​PF's chief executive ​Gerard Ryan​ said: “IPF delivered a solid operational and financial performance in 2017.

​"​We continued to serve creditworthy customers who might otherwise be financially excluded, while maintaining credit quality. Credit issued increased by 6​ per cent​, with particularly strong performances delivered by IPF Digital and Mexico home credit.​"​

M​r Ryan said the Mexican market performed well despite the recent earthquakes and pointed to a strong performance in Southern Europe.

The ​firm said it expect​s​ its digital arm to ​show strong growth as sales increase and impairments reduce.

"​IPF Digital has seen significantly reduced losses," said Mr Ryan.

"Our target is to make a maiden profit in digital in 2018."​

The company said more stringent creditworthiness assessments introduced in Romania last year were likely to reduce the volume of loans it was allowed to provide to customers in that country.

IPF said it continued to engage with the Polish government over the country’s proposal to reduce the existing non-interest pricing cap to encourage a more positive outcome for consumers and credit providers.

"​This was a very solid financial and operational performance," said Mr Ryan.

"We are pleased with how we've done in Europe. We have great opportunities in digital and Mexico home credit.

"We expect further good growth in 2018."

Analyst Gary Greenwood at Shore Capital said: "IPF has published a stronger than expected set of full year results to December ​31, with adjusted profitability in Southern Europe and the run-off businesses (Slovakia and Lithuania) the main positive variances versus our expectations.

​"​The group has also taken a £30m one-off deferred tax write down reflecting changes to tax law in Poland which came into effect on January ​1​​."