Pawnbroker H&T has revealed its like-for-likes climbed 3 per cent over December and believes profits for the year will exceed expectations.

The retailer said turnover in the second half of the year “grew significantly”, although the growth was less pronounced in December due to “difficult high street conditions”.

It said it continued to benefit from the increasing price of gold.

H&T opened a record 16 stores in the year to December 31, 2008, bringing its total to 105.

In a statement, H&T said: “The board expects to report profit before taxation and before exceptional items for the year ended December 31, 2008 at a level higher than the current consensus market expectations.”

The retailer expects to report its preliminary results for last year on March 20, 2009.