Albemarle & Bond announces 20th year of growth

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Pawnbroker enjoys growth profit of £31.5m, up by 15% on 2010.

Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has announced its H1 results ending June 30, with highlights that include pledge book growth of 21% and the company’s 20th consecutive year of profit.

The company’s gross profit from pawnbroking was £31.5 m, (2010: £28.2m) with underlying growth of 15% before hedge costs, while its gross profit from gold buying reached £14.6m (2010: £11.5m) up 27%, with the value of volumes bought increasing 83% .

Though the company’s costs have increased by 20%, which it says is in line with the store expansion programme, it is now trading with a total 202 outlets in the UK, with 38 pop-ups among the number, and a further 25 bricks and mortar stores due to open in H2.

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Albemarle will also continue in its promotion to reach the wider public with a further 23 new gold buying pop-up shops due during the remainder of financial year.

The company says it has continued strong demand for short-term flexible loans and instant cash however its market for second-hand gold and new jewellery retailing remains “extremely challenging”, though it believes the record gold price has supported a strong start to the new financial year.

Barry Stevenson, chief executive of Albemarle & Bond said: “We have delivered a good set of underlying results in this period of transition for the Group. It is particularly pleasing to have achieved a 5% increase in profitability, as we have yet to see the benefit of profit maturity from investments in the expanding store portfolio.

“Exceptional growth in the pledge book year-on-year has also aided these results, although this will start to normalise as we come up against tough comparators from
last year,” he explained.

“Under our five year growth plan, we have made good progress in terms of developing the platform for a much larger business. Alongside the more visible store expansion programme, we are now operating from 202 outlets compared to 115 two years ago, we have invested in market research, people, training and our brand. As a result we have not only strengthened our existing core business but increased the opportunity to grow it substantially,” Stevenson continued, noting that he looked forward to a 21st consecutive year of growth.

In further news, Albemarle & Bond has appointment of Tracey Graham to its board. Greville Nicholls, chairman of Albemarle, commented: "We are delighted to welcome Tracey to the board. Her knowledge and experience of financial services and IT infrastructures will be an invaluable asset to our Board and we look forward to working alongside her."

Graham said of her new role: "I am delighted to be joining Albemarle & Bond with its proven growth track record, and clear strategy to continue this profitable growth trajectory. Albemarle & Bond is an exciting and dynamic business with significant future potential."

Albemarle & Bond has also announced the appointment of Tony Smollett as chief information officer, reporting to Barry Stevenson.

 

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