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Provident Financial Pretax Profit Rises 12% on Vanquis Bank

Provident Financial Plc (PFG), the U.K.’s biggest subprime lender, said full-year profit rose 12 percent on growth in its Vanquis banking unit.

Net income climbed to 148 million pounds ($224.5 million) in 2012 from 119.8 million pounds a year earlier, the Bradford, England-based company said today in a statement. Pretax profit before a one-time gain rose 12 percent to 181.1 million pounds, matching the 181 million-pound average estimate of eight analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Our performance is underpinned by the strength of our funding position and lending responsibly through very close attention to credit quality,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Crook said in the statement. The group is “in a position to make further good progress in 2013.”

Provident is focusing on expanding its credit-card division Vanquis, which caters for customer who have been turned away by main-street banks as higher food and energy costs weigh on its doorstep lending business. The lender, which is testing the market for subprime credit cards in Poland, typically has a 39.9 percent annual charge for its cards.

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