The spike in loans in the lead up to Christmas took the company’s Australia loan book to $116 million as of December 31, up 23 per cent from 12 months earlier.
Earnings from Cash Converters stores, which sell used goods and issue loans and cash advances, also rose, improving 64 per cent in the six months to December 31 to $10.2 million.
The company’s bottom line in the six months to December was damaged by charges related to the end of agreements with two financial agents, resulting in a net loss of $5.3 million, down from a $9.9 million profit a year earlier.
Excluding those charges, earnings were up 31 per cent to $32.4 million.
Cash Converters said a major driver of growth in its lending was its online personal loans, which totalled $31 million at the end of December.
The company said there is considerable potential for further growth in online lending, as almost half of its online customers are new to the company.
The company will open seven new stores in Australia in the second half of the financial year, and expects earnings to be boosted by December’s record lending volumes.
Cash Converters shares were down four cents at $1.125 at 1450 AEDT.