July 28, 2016 / 7:19 AM / 2 years ago

BRIEF-International Personal Finance H1 underlying profit before tax falls

July 28 (Reuters) - International Personal Finance Plc :

* Group impairment as a percentage of revenue in target range at 25.9 pct

* Strong growth momentum delivered by Southern Europe

* New product offering introduced in Poland to comply with new regulations - no change in guidance on expected financial impact

* Good progress in slovakia - collections progressing ahead of expectations

* During first half of year, group profit before tax and exceptional items was 12.6 m stg lower than 2015 at 30.7 mln stg

* Competition in our european markets remains intense and there has been little change in Polish market dynamics following introduction of new total cost of credit legislation in March 2016

* Our home credit business delivered profit before tax of 42.7 mln stg in first half of 2016 which comprised 45.2 mln stg from our on-going businesses and a loss of £2.5m in slovakia

* Interim dividend 4.6 penceper share

* Half-Year financial report for six months ended 30 june 2016

* Underlying profit before tax declined 22% (£9.7m) before £1.8m positive fx impact and additional investment of £4.7m in ipf digital

* Delivered increase in credit issued of 6%  and customer growth of 1%

* Cost optimisation programme delivers £12m annualised savings

* Disappointing first half in mexico - actions taken to improve short-term performance and capture long-term potential

* Interim dividend maintained at 4.6 pence per share

* Brexit not expected to have material impact on business other than fx translation

* Reduction in underlying profit before tax in our home credit business was driven primarily by introduction of new legislation in poland and a disappointing performance in mexico

* This was offset partially by a strong performance in southern europe where we delivered an excellent profit outcome

* Regulation continues to evolve with key areas of focus being around licensing, affordability-related rules and taxation

* We have improved our capabilities to anticipate, monitor and influence new regulation by engaging more directly with relevant politicians and driving more focused discussions through our industry representative groups Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Bengaluru Newsroom: +91 80 6749 1136)

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