S&U, the motor finance and property bridging lender, has issued a trading update between 7 December 2018 to the Group’s year-end on 31 January 2019.

S&U said trading remains “satisfactory” and full year results are in line with consensus expectations, “despite current political and consumer uncertainties.”

S&U’s final results will be announced on the 26 March 2019.

S&U said Advantage Finance, its motor finance subsidiary, had produced record profits in the quarter despite greater competitive conditions and the seasonal slowdown in the motor finance market being more pronounced than usual this year.

The number of new Advantage finance agreements for the financial year were at their second-highest ever level and the lender said applications for motor finance remain strong.

Debt quality was consistent with, and beginning to respond to, the underwriting changes made earlier in the year and monthly collections in January exceeded £12m for the first time.

Following the slower recent transaction levels, net motor finance receivables at year end were c.4% up on last year whilst total “live” accounts were up 9% on last year at just over 59,000.

Used car values and volumes, including those of modern diesel vehicles, continue to outperform the new market both in the franchise dealer and independent retailer sectors, said Advantage.  This, coupled with further investment in Advantage products and distribution systems, should provide a firm base of demand for renewed growth for the business in transactions for the coming year.

Commenting on the Group’s performance and outlook, Anthony Coombs, S&U Chairman, said: “Over the past 25 years, S&U has consistently demonstrated its ability to adapt to the kinds of economic and political uncertainty we all currently face. I am therefore confident that this sound experience, our strong financial base and the skills of those who work for us will serve to underpin the Group’s success in the future.”