Ninth consecutive year of profit growth for financial services firm

Leeds-based financial services firm Hitachi Capital has reported its ninth consecutive year of profit growth, hailing a strong performance across its five key divisions.

For the 2017/18 financial year, Hitachi Capital (UK) reported profit before tax of £116.4m, a rise of 7.1% over the previous financial year.

On a group basis, Hitachi Capital (UK) generated £3.5bn of new business and ended the year with net earning assets of £4.8bn – a rise from £3bn and £4.1bn in financial year 2016/17, respectively.

Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance business unit, which includes retail, motor and personal loans, generated profit before tax of £72.8m, or 62.5% of group profits. As one of the top 10 largest lenders in the country, the business unit lent more than £2.3bn to over 700,000 customers during this period, and has a 20% market share in retail point-of-sale finance.

Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions, which provides vehicle funding and fleet management services, generated profit before tax of £24m. The business unit operates more than 67,600 assets, valued at £882m and is the only UK vehicle funding and fleet management provider to offer a comprehensive range of assets, from cars, to HGVs and plant machinery.

Pre-tax profit in Hitachi Capital Business Finance, a business asset finance provider, rose 4.9% to £21.4m while its asset portfolio grew to above £1bn. During the year, Hitachi Capital Business Finance became the first funder to offer the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee for Asset Finance, allowing the business unit to support the growth of more British businesses.

Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance generated record new business levels with an 18% increase in client numbers. A significant investment in technology has been made during 2017/18, which will be realised in 2018/19. As a result of these investments, Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance recorded a loss before tax of £2.1m in 2017/18.

Hitachi Capital European Vendor Solutions was established as a dedicated business unit with a branch office in the Netherlands to support expansion into European markets and provide vendor finance solutions to Hitachi and Mitsubishi group companies. It wrote £242m of business in 2017/18 and is active in 12 European countries.

Robert Gordon, CEO, said:“These are a strong set of results and are testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams throughout the UK and Europe.

“Hitachi Capital (UK) is now ranked among the fastest growing financial services firms in terms of sales growth, while our profitability makes us one of the top performers not only in the industry, but also when compared to some of the UK’s biggest and most well-known companies.

“It’s particularly pleasing to demonstrate consistent, long-term growth within a challenging and competitive sector, and against a backdrop of general economic uncertainty.

“The processes, systems and strategies we’ve put in place provide a solid foundation for continued growth in the years to come.”