The H&T Group became the first pawnbroker to have a pledgebook that exceeded more than £50 million in 2012. Retail sales for the pawnbroker were also up with a 1% increase to £20.1 million. After an impressive 2012, the company plans to focus this year on new business as the gold rush is quieting down. Year-on-year profits did slip 4.8% by, as was expected, due to the gold market and the cost of the expansions. The company opened 26 new stores in 2012. H&T will continue its expansion program into 2013, already opening 6 new stores, however new store openings will be slower. H&T chief executive John Nicholls said they will “revert to more of a mixture of acquisitions and greenfield sites.” Of the cash-for-gold boom, Nicholls feels it was a “short-term opportunity rather than a core earnings stream” which is why the company will be focusing alternative revenue streams this year.