By Patrick Avenell

Thorn Group, owners of the Radio Rentals (called ‘Rentlo’ in South Australia) appliances and consumer electronics chain, has announced a 5 per cent decline in net profit after tax. The Narta member, which is also a financial services company and has its own Thorn brand of products, recorded a profit of $13.3 million from $112.7 million in revenue (up 12 per cent).

The decline in profit despite a siginifanct increase in revenue has been attributed to non-recurring costs and the start-up of car rental service RentDriveBuy.

Here is a spokesperson via a media statement:

"[The] best performing business was Radio Rentals, with installation revenue growing 16 per cent during the first half, mainly assisted by the growth of technology products as demand for smartphones and iPads grew substantially.

"Thorn’s financial services arm now has two brands: Cashfirst, which lifted its unsecured personal loan book to $22 million; and Thorn Money, launched

"in October and providing unsecured loans up to $15,000 and secured loans up to $25,000.

"The leasing book through Thorn Equipment Finance has grown to $55 million compared with $36 million a year ago."

Managing director John Hughes said the publicly listed company is continuing to meet a specific demand in the community:

“Radio Rentals continues to deliver record performance, which clearly demonstrates that it continues to meet the needs of a significant part of the community and our business initiatives are progressing positively,” he said.

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