Pawnbrokers H&T pre-tax profit jumped 7.3% in its first half.

Profits rose from £9.6m to £10.3m in the six months to June 30.

H&T chief executive John Nichols said trading had been especially strong in its core pawnbroking business.  Its gross pledge book soared 10.5% to £41.2m year-on-year.

Nichols said: “The outlook remains positive and on the basis of the current gold price we are pleased to announce our expectation for full year results to be above the top end of current market forecasts.”

New stores had an “excellent” performance over the period according to Nichols. The pawnbroker has opened 15 new stores in the year to date and has already signed the leases on a further six.

Over the six months, the pawnbroker has converted six retail mall units into new style “gold shops” or ‘H&T Lite’ stores.