Jewellery and gold prices key to 60% profit surge at pawnbroker H&T

H&T says its focus remains on retail sales of jewellery to counteract the drop in gold price.

A 15% rise in gold prices and strong jewellery sales have been key to a 62% increase in profits for Britain’s biggest pawnbroker, H&T, in the first six months of this year.

Sales of new jewellery items during H1 exceeded £1m for the first time, an increase of 45% on H1 2016.

Overall, sales for the first half of the year rose 4.1% to £49.05 million, putting the company on track to hit £100 million turnover this year. Profit rose to £6 million for the six month period.

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John Nichols, chief executive, said: “We have made a strong start, in this our 120th anniversary year, with a 62% increase in profit before tax to £6m driven by revenue increases in all key segments. The results reflect a series of initiatives beginning to bear fruit and a favourable gold price.

“We have also expanded our collection of high-end watches and the investment we have made in the est1897.co.uk website means we are now well placed to cement our position in this marketplace. This is a milestone year in the history of H&T and the enhancements we have made across our business, which have redefined the pawnbroking model, allow us to look to the future with confidence.”

Retail sales now account for over one-third of turnover for H&T, with the businesses’s e-commerce site est1897.co.uk, which specialises in jewellery and pre-owned watches contributing to a rise in retail sales from £13.6 million in the first six months of 2016 to £15.3 million for the first half of this year.

The company’s store estate now consists of 181 high-street stores, the high-end lending office in Bond Street and eight concessions.

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