Home credit and motor finance provider S&U has revealed it expects to report a record year when it reveals its 2011 accounts which will “significantly exceed market expectations”.

Solihull-based S&U said a better-than-expected performance was enjoyed in the 12 months to January 31, after a strong end to last year.

The firm said, in a statement: “Our home credit division has traded well over Christmas and January and continues to do so. “Customer numbers continue to grow and as a result we have opened two new branches at Swindon and in Glasgow. Good home credit is a local service which understands the needs and circumstances of our customers and the markets in which we operate.”

The firm completed the takeover of home credit business of Norton Financial Services, based in Rotherham, on February 13 for about £750,000.

The firm said the acquisition will add to its customer base in the Yorkshire area and will be “immediately earnings enhancing”.

Meanwhile its motor finance operation enjoyed a strong end to the year.

The firm said: “For yet another year Advantage Finance has overcome the lull traditionally associated with the winter months in the used car market. “Indeed the last two months of trading have been extremely buoyant and show substantial increases on last year. As Advantage continues to develop its underwriting expertise, its loan products appeal to an ever wider range of customers. It has ambitious targets for growth in 2012/13 which together with a very strong collections performance should produce yet another record year for the company.”

Since the end of last year borrowings have reduced by nearly £3 million at the firm, while gearing has fallen to under 35 per cent from 43 per cent last year and 57 per cent two years ago.

“Our existing facilities and excellent relationship with our bankers means that we have significant fire power to develop our existing businesses organically and to continue to make acquisitions to expand our business,” the group added.

Anthony Coombs, chairman of S&U, added: “Hard work and attention to the needs of our customers has led to a record year for the group. This work will continue as we explore areas in which we can improve and expand our service to all our customers. As a result, we hope to build upon the returns we are making to our much valued shareholders.”