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LONDON (ShareCast) - Profit before tax rose 11.7 per cent to 181.1m pounds in the full year ending December 31st at Provident Financial (Other OTC: FPLPY - news) .

The company, which provides home credit in the UK and Ireland (OTC BB: IRLD - news) , also posted strong group performance and dividend increase.

Adjusted earnings per share were up 13.8% to 102.0p.

Customer numbers were up 8.7% to 2.74m, compared to 2.52m in 2011, and average receivables rose 12.1% to £1.3bn.

The total dividend per share was up 11.9% to 77.2p and the group reported that it is fully funded into 2015.

Peter Crook, Chief Executive Officer of Provident Financial, said: "I am very pleased to announce adjusted earnings per share growth of 13.8% in 2012 and an 11.9% increase in the dividend for the year which is fully supported by strong capital generation. We have now delivered cumulative earnings per share growth of 42.9% over the last three years.

"Our performance is underpinned by the strength of our funding position and lending responsibly through very close attention to credit quality. This has allowed us to generate a stable stream of profits from CCD during a period when customers' household incomes have been under pressure.

"At the same time, we have continued to invest significantly in growing the customer base and profits from addressing the UK's under-served non-standard credit card market through Vanquis Bank."


Goals Soccer Centres scored higher sales and profits for 2012 as the company kicked a challenging economic and fiscal climate during the year.

The operator of soccer centres in the UK and US, posted annual sales of £32.5m, up 7.0% from £30m the previous year.

Profit before exceptional items and tax grew 3.0% to £39.5m while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) climbed 3.0% to £14.2m.

During the period the company tackled competition from the London Olympics, the Jubilee and Euros 2012.

A record year of rain in the UK also had an impact on results.

Nevertheless, the group achieved strong results from its operations, successfully opening its first modular build centre at Chester and signing a new brand partnership with talkSPORT, a UK radio station for national sports coverage and commentary. The station saw more than 3.5m people tune in to listen.

Managing Director Keith Rogers said Goals has kicked off a great start to the year and is confident of significant developments in the company and its brands.

"Goals Soccer Centres has established itself as the leading small sided football operator in the UK having grown capacity by over 300% since flotation in 2004 to a national network of 43 Football Association accredited sites," he said.

"The management is now taking advantage of its scale and leveraging maximum value from its current estate through partnerships with established UK brands including talkSPORT. Combined with a new dedicated online social media strategy, Goals aims to further drive pitch utilisation and broaden the target audience."