Luxury car boost for Norwich asset finance firm Credo

Growing demand for luxury cars has helped put finance broker Credo Asset Finance on course to double its lending this year.

Norwich-based Credo, established in 2005, is set to lend between �15m and �18m in 2010/11, up from �8m last year.

And managing director Simon Gray said the company was well placed for further growth in 2011/12, with forecast lending of �25m.

Credo acts as a broker for finance for a wide range of business assets, including cars and work vehicles, agricultural and construction equipment and IT systems, secured against the asset.

While demand for finance for construction equipment has plummeted as the industry has slumped, Mr Gray said Credo had seen a significant increase in demand for luxury cars, the cost of which has fallen steeply in recent years.

The company currently provides funding for about 25 cars above �30,000 per month, about double the figure in recent years.

As well as acting as a broker for other finance providers, Credo is also in the process of setting up its own finance fund, which could also contribute to future growth.

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Mr Gray said: 'Our lending has risen as we have gone after more sources and more dealers, and we have won more repeat business.

'We have also invested in the internet and public relations which is starting to pay off.'

He added: 'Our luxury car business has grown as a lot more people can afford the cars, including Aston Martins and Bentleys.

'Cars which cost �75,000 a couple of years ago can now be bought for about �40,000.'

Credo recently took on a new sales director, Julian Pilkington, formerly of car dealer Marshall Motor Group, bringing the total staff to seven based at the Norwich headquarters and in Ipswich.

The company is also planning to employ an additional administrative employee and two sales staff, as well as investing in marketing and advertising.

The growing lending will see the firm's turnover double to about �500,000, made up from commission.