Fish Brothers Group looks to improve its Swarovski stores in 2018

Charles Fish

Fish Brothers Group has pinpointed its Swarovski stores as an area of improvement this year after posting an overall company loss for the year ending March 2017.

In accounts filed by Companies House, Fish Brothers Group describes the year as a period of uncertainty and continuing austerity.

Turnover rose by 3% in the year, but an operating profit of £356,500 in FY2016 dropped into the red in 2017 with a loss of £58,000.

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Fish Brothers Group is the parent organisation for Charles Fish, which has outlets in Harlow and Chelmsford selling branded and unbranded jewellery alongside fashion watches. It also operates three franchise stores for Swarovski – an area of the business chairman Stephen Dexter is looking to improve in light of the results.

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He says in the Group’s Companies House report: “Our new Swarovski openings have performed below our expectations and we are looking, with Swarovski’s assistance, as to how to improve performance.”

The group’s biggest company is the Fish Brothers pawnbroking business, which has 10 doors in the East end of London.

Mr Dexter said that the political uncertainty following Brexit in 2016, and the general election in early 2017 have contributed to shaky consumer confidence.

Consumer spending power is facing its biggest squeeze since the 1970s, he adds, as rising prices and stagnant wage growth have hit households.

Mr Dexter attributes turnover to rising sales online for the fashion watch portfolio of Charles Fish, but points out that this is a low margin business.

The pawnbroking staple of flipping old gold has also seen squeezed margins as the gold price has settled at a range of $1100-1300.

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