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IPF warns on 2009 profits as customers struggle

  Emerging markets lender International Personal Finance warned on Friday its profits for 2009 will be hit as consumers in Central Europe are struggling to repay debts, particularly in Hungary.

IPF, which offers small loans to consumers in central Europe, Romania and Mexico, said it estimates the results for Hungary in 2009 will be £20 million ($30 million) to 30 million below its expectations.

“It is likely, as a result of the underperformance in Hungary, that the outcome for 2009 will be substantially less than our expectations,” said the company in a statement. It added that the group remains well funded and it will continue to operate within its banking covenants.

IPF, which split from UK parent Provident Financial in July 2007, said its operations in Mexico have not been affected by the outbreak of Swine Flu.

International Personal Finance an international home credit business began in 1997 it’s have grown substantially and now operate in six countries, have over 2.0 million customers and in 2008 achieved a pre-tax profit of £70.3 million ($105.6 million). (Reuters)