Group delivers 20th year of consecutive profit growth.

Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond (A&B) has released its annual results for 2011, with gross profits reaching £31.5m, up £1.3m compared to 2010.

The results show continued growth for pawnbroking in the UK – the 20th year of consecutive profit growth for the Wakefield-based business.


Highlights from the report show that its pledge book has grown 21%, with a gross profit from pawnbroking activities of £31.5, compared to a figure of £28.2m in 2010. 

Pawnbroking remains the core focus of the business, contributing 52% of the group’s gross profit.

Gold buying has remained an area of strong revenue for A&B, generating a gross profit up 27% compared to 2010’s gross gold buying figure of £11.5m. 

Gold buying contributed 24% to the gross profit totalling £14.6m, and volumes of gold bought increased by 83% with a significant contribution from new stores and the new pop-up gold buying shops.

The pawnbroker’s other financial services, such as its Payday Anyway scheme and Speedloans saw an increase of 16% on gross profits, totalling £8.6m, up from £7.4m in 2010.

Its jewellery sales remained a smaller part of the overall gross profit accounting for 10% totalling £6.4m.

Albemarle & Bond’s total revenue in 2011 was £101.9m, a 24% increase on 2010, while its operating profit grew 5% to £21.7m.

For the year ahead, the company says that is expects continued strong demand for short-term flexible loans and cash, and predicts its new stores will trade ahead of their internal forecasts.

The company also says that there will be growth in gold buying volumes at “healthy and sustainable margins”, and says its Payday Anyway product will gain momentum, replacing “volumes lost on cheque based PayDay Advance product”.

Barry Stevenson, chief executive of A&B said: “As this year has been one of transition, I am particularly pleased to be able to report a solid increase in profitability with the largest contribution coming from our core business, pawnbroking, gold buying and other financial services also contributed strongly and as a result we recorded profit before tax of £21.0 million, 5% up on the previous year.

“While the profile of pawnbroking has increased, so too has consumers’ understanding of our growing range of services.”

At present Albemarle & Bond Plc operates 117 Albemarle & Bond branded store, 42 Herbert Brown store and 38 pop-up spaces. The company plans to open 25 stores in 2012, creating 300 new jobs.

Stevenson added that with the company’s five year growth plan on track and refinancing agreed, it is well positioned to capitalise on the increased demand for its existing and future products and services.