UPDATE 1-Emerging markets lender IPF gets Mexico boost, shares jump
(Adds details on Mexico unit, CEO and analysts' comments; updates share movement)
Feb 26 (Reuters) - Emerging markets lender International Personal Finance Plc reported a 24 percent jump in full-year profit, helped by a marked rise in credit to customers in Mexico and Poland.
IPF shares rose as much as 7 percent, making them top percentage gainers on the FTSE-250 Midcap Index on Wednesday morning.
The company said total credit issued rose 15 percent to 1.05 billion pounds ($1.75 billion). Credit issued in Mexico jumped 32 percent to 196.9 million pounds, while that in Poland - its biggest market - rose about 17 percent.
"Improving economies and consumer confidence from the recessionary lows will remain a positive trend," Panmure Gordon analyst Keith Baird said in a note.
"Mexico in particular offers the biggest upside on growth given the expansion there."
IPF, which lends to about 2.6 million borrowers in eastern Europe and Mexico, reported a 58 percent rise in profit in its Mexico business.
"We are bullish on all our markets in 2014, in particular Mexico," Chief Executive Gerard Ryan told Reuters.
The company said it expects its Mexican operation to grow to 3 million customers in "the medium term" from 744,000 as of Dec. 31. Continuación...