* Sees higher than expected FY profit
* Growth down to strong H2 retail, gold sales
LONDON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - British pawnbroker H&T Group (HTGR.L) on Monday said it expects its 2008 profit to come in higher than consensus market expectations as consumers become increasingly thrifty amid an economic downturn.
The group said retail sales in the second half of the year grew significantly and that scrap activity continued to benefit from the current price of gold.
According to Reuters Estimates, analysts expect the company to deliver pretax profit for the year ending December 2008 of 10 million pounds.
The company added that Alex Maby would replace outgoing finance director Laurent Genthialon at the beginning of February.