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Motor Trade Finance posts annual profit, maintains loan sales

Friday 14th November 2008

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Motor Trade Finance, a cooperative of more than 650 finance outlets, posted a full-year profit after it maintained sales of new loans and kept bad debts under control.

Profit was $3.7 million in the year ended September 30, from a loss of $1.2 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Net interest income and fees fell 1.2% to $48.8 million. New loan sales fell to $443 million from $455 million.

"At 97% of the previous year, sales were better than expected, but we can expect volumes to drop significantly in the coming year, as vehicle sales slow and the recession has an impact on consumer appetite for debt," said managing director Angus Bradshaw.

MTF, as the finance company is known, last month gained approval from transacting shareholders to restructure its capital, with the issue of new shares, a bonus issue using undistributed profits and a new constitution. It will cease to be registered as a cooperative under the plan, with a prospectus due later this month.

In the previous year, the company paid out $40 million to transacting shareholders, exceeding the $38.8 million available for distribution and resulting in a loss.

Bradshaw said MTF kept loan arrears within its benchmark by tightening credit criteria and maintaining a conservative policy on making new loans.

"The global credit crisis has changed funding for the short to medium term and we are evaluating a number of options to ensure MTF remains efficiently and cost effectively funded," Bradshaw said.

By Jonathan Underhill

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