Albemarle & Bond fulfilling market expectations

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Four month into financial year, group’s pledgebook is up 5.3% y-o-y.

Albemarle & Bond has released a trading statement, outlining that four months into its financial year it is performing "in line with full year market expectations".

The group’s pledge book at the end of October 2012 was 5.3% higher than at October 2011. Though, as signalled in September 2012, its gold buying profits are significantly below the exceptional levels seen in H1 FY 2012 which has set tough comparatives for overall group profits in H1.

However, volumes and margins seen in Q4 FY2012 have been maintained through the first four months of this financial year.

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Since the start of the financial year, the group has implemented a new acquisition focused store expansion plan responding to both the uncertainty and reduced cash flow generation from gold buying.

A statement from Albemarle & Bond’s chairman, Greville Nicholls, said: “We are on track to open the planned five acquired stores in the current financial year, with three acquisitions completed in the year to date.

“Of the stores opened since 2009, over half have already made an operating profit contribution in the current financial year despite lower profits from gold buying and with the key Christmas retail trading period still to come.”

The company has stated that it is operating from a stable financial platform but its costs continue to be tightly managed, and are in line with H2 FY 2012 levels. Albemarle & Bond is said to have “ample headroom” of £20m on facilities that run to November 2016.

In September it announced its annual results, noting that gold buying had stalled. Barry Stevenson, Albemarle & Bond ‘s chief executive, said at the time: “We have invested strong gold buying cash flows in this expansion and in so doing we have laid the foundations for the company’s long term profitability.

“Gold buying remains a substantial part of the on-going business and the 2012 result demonstrates how well we have executed on this market opportunity. However the expected downturn in the gold buying market happened very quickly and has set a new level to which we have quickly adapted. We expect gold buying to continue to be a significant profit contributor to the group albeit at much reduced levels to that achieved at the peak."

Albemarle & Bond today runs 233 outlets, up from 115 as at June 2009, providing pawnbroking and finance products and services.

 

 

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