By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Total installations for consumer rentals in the Radio Rentals and Rentlo businesses grew by 5 per cent for the first half of FY11, with ‘essential’ products as the main driver, according to a presentation by the Thorn Group for the Macquarie Connections Conference. The report noted that further consumer acceptance of rental as a means to acquiring product is assisting the growth.

The company reported a growth in whitegoods of 11 per cent and noted strong flat panel and PC rentals alongside a 54 per cent rise in furniture. The company also said the launch of the Thorn brand had been well received.

Currently, the businesses enjoy a customer base edging close to 100,000 and experienced a 6.3 per cent customer base growth in the first half.

The Thorn Group also detailed its store expansion programme, with five ‘one person branches’ opened in regional areas, kiosks in metropolitan areas (the Mt Druitt trial started in December) and showrooms in selected regional and metropolitan areas. 

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While the financial provider company said its rental business is ‘ticking all the boxes’ it also reiterated the exit of its investment in the Big Brown Box.