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S & U plc looking to diversify with new bridging finance pilot

Motor finance company S & U Plc (LON:SUS) will spend up to £20mln investing in a new pilot property bridging finance business over the next 18 months if it deems it worthwhile.
So says chairman Anthony Coombs, talking to Proactive,  after the company  posted six month results to the end of July - a period, which saw the niche lender sign its 100,000th customer at its Advantage motor finance business.
Coombs highlighted that in the latest half it had invested a further £23.3mln in the Grimsby-based motor finance arm, where capital receivables from customers have reached £200mln for the first time.
The property finance pilot will allow the firm to diversify further, he said, and will be geared at people who may need a short term loan while stuck in a mortgage chain, or who are looking to refurbish a buy-to-let property.
Market research group Mintel reckons the market is likely to go from £5.8bn now to £9bn by 2020, says Coombs.
In the six months to July 31, profit before tax at the group shot up 35% to £11.9mln from £8.8mln in the corresponding period of 2015 on the back of a 39% increase in revenue to £28.3mln from £20.4mln the year before.
The half-year saw record amounts of motor finance loans at Advantage Finance, with advances to vehicle purchasers up 54% year-on-year.

Quick facts: S & U PLC

Price: 1880 GBX

LSE:SUS
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £228.11 m
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on 02/14/2016

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