UK's NSF warns on profit, cuts medium-term loan book growth targets

Adds details on background, comments from statement

Nov 15 (Reuters) - British lender Non-Standard Finance NSF.L warned on profits and slashed its medium-term targets for loan book growth, highlighting its struggles to make it alone after its failed bid for larger rival Provident Financial PFG.L.

The sub-prime lender said trading in the three months ended September was softer than expected, with lower volumes in guarantor loans, which is a type of unsecured loan.

"Board of NSF is also mindful that after a sustained period of economic growth in the UK, the economic outlook is currently more uncertain than at any point in the last 10 years," the company said.

NSF now expects its normalised operating profit for 2019 to come in between 10% and 13% lower than market expectations, but it would still be higher than last year. It also lowered its loan book growth outlook to 10%-15% from an earlier range of 20% in the medium term for branch-based lending.

The company, which dropped an unsolicited 1.3 billion pound ($1.66 billion) bid for Provident in June, now expects loan book in its home credit business to grow in the range of -5% to +5% in the medium term. It earlier targeted a 2%-5% rise.

NSF said the revisions come in the face of increasingly uncertain macroeconomic outlook and the negative impact of previous downturns on the company's performance.

Domestic financial firms have been left in limbo since Britain voted to leave the European trading bloc more than three years ago, with questions over how or when that departure would happen still unanswered ahead of a snap election before Christmas.

On the back of those uncertainties, companies as well as consumers have been cautious on taking out loans or committing to investments.

NSF, in a separate statement, said its Chief Financial Officer Nick Teunon will step down from the role next March, while his deputy Jono Gillespie will replace him.

Shares in the company, which have plunged 50% year-to-date due to the failed takeover attempt as well as the impact it had on the half-year results, were expected to slump another 20% on Friday according to premarket indicators.

($1 = 0.7815 pounds)

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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