F.Hinds remains steady despite increasingly challenging retail conditions

National Jewellery retailer F. Hinds has reported an increase in turnover and profits for the financial year ended March 25, 2018.

In accounts filed with Companies House this week, the family-owned jeweller reported a modest increase in profits to £2.58m.

The document also shows operating profits for the year posted a small growth to £3.16m, while turnover rose from £61.43m to £62.07m in the 12 months.

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Company secretary Stephen Cornwall says that branded goods continue to perform well, but non-branded products, if sold at the right price, have been a success too.

He says of the results: “Despite the increasingly challenging environment faced by many retailers, the directors are happy with the current positioning of F. Hinds in the retailer jewellery market, and regularly monitor performance of individual stores and product categories to quickly adapt to changing sales patterns, customer demands and expectations.”

“Margins achieved by the company have remained stable during the year,” Cornwall continues, adding, “but the board continues to ensure that the company offers good quality products at competitive prices and hedges its exposure to foreign currency volatility when feasible.”

Figures from Companies House

During the year F. Hinds closed two branches, with high rates and rent costs playing a part in those decisions.

Looking ahead the report states F Hinds will continue its strategy to open new stores in locations where it believes and opportunity to generate profit exists, and an emphasis remains on refurbishing stores to make them brighter and more appealing.

Cornwall explains: “Business rates based on historical high rents continue to be detrimental to many town centres and are a factor why no new shops were opened this year. If the level of business rates reflected the true current level of rents in certain towns, then the company would undoubtedly have been able to open shops and create more employment.

“It is now eleven years and 18 new units since the company has opened a store that is not in a shopping centre, which is a worrying statistic for the future health of our high streets.”

During this financial year the company says the Brexit process has not yet made a significant impact on the business, but the directors anticipate that it could affect price stability as many products have exposure to overseas currency somewhere in their supply chain. Brexit could also reduce the speed of delivery of products from the EU, and certain shops in agricultural areas with a big EU populations may suffer a downturn in trade if citizens can’t remain.

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