CMJ announces best year to date at AGM

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Overall sales up 70% on 2010 to reach £76.9m.

The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) released stellar results at its AGM this week with overall sales made through the group totalling £76.9 million to date.

The CMJ’s financial director Dominic Wakefield explained the figures, noting a 70% increase in overall sales compared to 2010’s £45.2m, and a 160% increase on the 2009 figure.

Wakefield explained that even though Pandora has made an impact, non-Pandora sales still increased by almost 57% year-on-year.

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Total turnover hit £3.5m compared to £2.5m last year, growing by 40.8% year-on-year.

Wakefield explained that the CMJ’s marketing and distribution costs had fallen. It is also likely that the funds put into CMJ Media will be returned, allowing them to break even on costs this year.

Retrospective rebate on money returned to members was £1.68m, a 73% increase on 2010.

The CMJ net worth also increased to £1.44m, compared to 2010’s £920,000.

With a focus on its members’ annual turnovers, the CMJ witnessed a rise in annual turnover for 67 members this year, with 33 down – an improvement, Wakefield said, on last year when 57 members were up and 40 down.

The CMJ’s top five retailers in terms of turnover represented 47% of the group’s entire turnover. The top 10 members contributed 59% to the total sales growth, the top 25 represented 77% and the remaining 109 members represented 23% – an increase of 18% on 2010, which saw the remaining 109 in a deficit of -5%.

Willie Hamilton, director of the CMJ, said: “We’re holding this AGM to encourage members to share any concerns or issues but also to voice their achievements. Don’t be shy about what you’ve done well this year.”

Hamilton praised his members for their outstanding positions in the retail market. He added: “We need your trust in the CMJ to help us to develop. We need to move with the mix, we’re the only buying group in Europe to work with Pandora, we are moving forward across the CMJ. Mastercut is starting to develop and grow, we’re raising the bar with our exhibitions and buying meetings, we’ve had the bottle to start CMJ Media this year – we’ve answered the jewellery industry’s need for a media business.

“I have a lot of members coming to me and saying ‘Willie, what’s the next big thing?’ and I tell them to stop looking at others – it could be you, you all have the chance to be the next big thing.”

Hamilton also satisfied members’ worries about the changes to membership terms which would allow new members with lower turnovers to have a membership with the group – albeit on a lesser scale. “We’re still working on how our new membership will work but everyone who approaches us is fully audited from top to bottom; it’s still something we’ll be developing over the next year,” he said. “But be aware we are rejecting a lot of retailers and there are those we have to say a quiet ‘no’ to.”

The retirement of several directors of the board was also announced. Dominica Wakefield will stand down at financial director, Colin Harris will stand down as director of CMJ Media and Judith Hart will also retire from the board.

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