Lex Autolease and Black Horse, the asset finance businesses belonging to Lloyds Banking Group, recorded strong growth for the first half of 2013 in results posted today.
Lex Autolease reported a 17% growth in new fleet deliveries in the first half of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013, having grown its fleet by almost 10,000 new vehicles since December 2013, to almost 290,000.
Lloyds credited strong performance from light commercial vehicles as a "key factor" behind the growth, including its new ‘Driveaways’ product, a range of purpose-built vans.
The company said it would target future growth in the large corporate segment, an area it has had success in over the previous 12 months.
Tim Porter, managing director at Lex Autolease, said the company aimed to add 100,000 vehicles to its fleet over the next five years.
"Much of the growth this year has been driven by commercial vehicles. This segment is a good indicator of the health of the wider economy and we expect to see further progress in this area as business confidence continues to rise," said Porter.
"The SME market also offers significant growth opportunities. Our research indicates that three quarters of small businesses prefer to buy vehicles outright rather than lease."
In the same period, Black Horse reported a 33% year-on-year growth in net lending to £6.0bn (7.6bn).
The company also reported 70% new business growth in the period, which it said was driven by the launch of the JLR partnership in the first quarter of 2014 and strong underlying business performance.
Black Horse managing director Chris Sutton said: "We have reported exceptionally strong new business growth by providing excellent products, competitive finance and supporting motor manufacturers and motor dealers with their growth strategies. These results also reflect the continued increase in new and used car sales that we are seeing more widely across the UK."
Black Horse and Lex AutoLease posted results under Lloyds’ Consumer Finance division. For the period the division as a whole reported underlying profits increased from £509m in the first half of 2013 to £534m for the equivalent period in 2014.
The bank said this growth was driven by significant reductions in impairment charges across the portfolio and income growth across asset finance, but that this was partially offset by a fall in income from elsewhere in the division.