Lender Provident Financial saw its shares jump yesterday - despite reporting an 80 per cent slump in profits following the closure of Yes Car Credit.
Pretax losses incurred by the car finance and sales business and the costs of shutting it were £165.6 million - more than the £141 million expected by analysts.
It left profits down 80.3 per cent at £40.4 million - though with the Yes losses stripped out, group profits fell just 1.1 per cent to £206 million.
However, the Bradford-based group saw its shares climb after it told investors it may split off its international business for a separate listing on the stock exchange.
The international division, which has interests in Mexico and Central Europe and is to open an office in Bucharest, saw pretax profits rise 28 per cent to £51.1 million in 2005.
Chairman John van Kuffeler said the firm saw "attractive prospects" for continued international expansion but its current model for organic growth overseas incurred start-up losses which depressed short-term profits.
"We are considering whether obtaining a separate listing in due course would allow the international growth opportunity to be captured more quickly," he said.
The collapse of Horsham, West-Sussex-based Yes, which cost 820 jobs, was blamed on increased competition from motor dealers to provide finance to customers who may have found it hard to secure funds to buy a car from traditional lenders such as banks.
Competition from banks and credit cards was also blamed for the five per cent drop in profits to £146.3 million at its UK lending arm. Pressure from rivals, and the continuing policy of ending credit to unprofitable customers, saw the number of people it loaned to falling 2.7 per cent to 1.49 million.