CORRECTED-Emerging markets lender IPF reports jump in profit

Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:22am EST

(Corrects paragraph three to say profit per customer rose 50 percent to 21 pounds in Mexico business, not doubled in whole company)

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Emerging markets lender International Personal Finance Plc reported a 24 percent rise in pretax profit as it saw a marked rise in credit issued to customers, particularly in Poland.

The company said underlying pretax profit rose to 118.1 million pounds ($197.02 million) in the year ended Dec. 31 from 95.1 million pounds a year earlier.

Revenue rose 11 percent to 746.8 million pounds. Profit per customer rose 50 percent to 21 pounds in its Mexico business.

Total credit issued rose 15 percent to 1.05 billion pounds. Credit issued in Poland, its biggest market, rose about 12 percent to 380.4 million pounds.

IPF lends to 2.5 million borrowers across eastern Europe and Mexico.

IPF said in December that it was fined about 2.4 million pounds by Polish authorities over the way it calculated some of its APR (annual percentage rate) lending terms.

The company's Polish operations accounted for 41 percent of revenue in 2012.

"We disagree with UOKiK's (Office of Competition and Consumer Protection) decision and have legal opinion supporting our view that the way we calculate our fees is correct," the company said in its earnings statement on Wednesday.

IPF also raised its final dividend to 5.5 pence per share, increasing the total payout for the year to 9.3 pence.

Shares in Leeds-based International Personal Finance were up 4 percent at 526 pence at 0804 GMT on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange.

($1 = 0.5994 British pounds) (Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

FILED UNDER: