Credit-based community retailer BrightHouse has seen a hefty jump in profits as more people turn to rent-to-own schemes to buy household goods.
The firm, which opened its first shop in Chelmsley Wood in 1994 and has ten outlets in the area, said a growing number of customers were looking to use rent-to-own to stock up houses.
In the year up to March 31, the company made a pre-tax profit of £29.4m, up 21.5 per cent on the year before.
Turnover was up nearly 17 per cent at £170.6m.
BrightHouse chief executive Leo McKee said: “BrightHouse has delivered improved revenue, profit and customer numbers, despite the difficult economic environment facing the retail and financial services sectors in the UK. This performance reflects the fact that our customers, colleagues and suppliers clearly understand and appreciate our proposition.
“We are a responsible lender, serving families in some of the most socially-deprived areas of Britain. These are our customers, we understand their needs and they value the convenience of making weekly payments and the personal relationship they develop with their store manager.
“There continues to be great demand for this proposition and the company’s growth prospects are solid. Current trading is in line with expectations and the company is well-placed for further growth.”
Last year the firm said it would open ten stores in the Birmingham region in five years, creating 100 jobs. The two latest stores to open in the region were in Bloxwich and Wednesbury at the end of May, each employing seven people.
BrightHouse is based in Watford, and has local outlets in Hill Street in Birmingham, Erdington, Chelmsley Wood, Acocks Green, Kings Heath, Northfield, West Bromwich, Redditch and Dudley.
Dubbed a “sub-prime” retailer, it largely sells goods for weekly cash payments to customers who would struggle to obtain finance elsewhere for the purchases. The company’s expansion plans in the West Midlands are part of a national push to expand its portfolio – which stands at nearly 200 stores employing the best part of 2,000 people.
BrightHouse has come under fire with some saying low-income customers ended up paying over the odds for goods.