Jeweller Beaverbrooks has released its financial statement for the year ending 27 February 2021, showing that it maintained a sizeable profit for the pandemic year despite lockdowns forcing its 71 stores to close for six months.

The business’ profit after tax was down only 9.4% on the year immediately prior to the pandemic, from £8.7 million to £7.9 million.

Annual turnover, meanwhile, was down £20 million or 14% to £123 million.

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The jeweller said that the reduction in its overall profit margin was influenced by the expansion of its e-commerce offering during the year, and noted that the 2019/20 year it is comparing these most recent figures too was a high bar as the most successful in its history.

Anna Blackburn, managing director of Beaverbrooks, said: “There’s no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for the sector, so to come out the other side in such a strong financial position is something we are incredibly proud of as a business.

“For us, it was all about adapting to the changing landscape and ensuring we put the safety of our people and customers as our number one priority.

“It’s no secret that the retail industry was hit hard by the pandemic, so we’re delighted to have retained such a strong level of profit despite our 71 stores being closed for half of the trading year, as well as continuing to invest in our business, our people and our commitment to charitable causes.

Mark Adlestone, chairman of Beaverbrooks, said: “A people-first ethos has always been at the heart of our business, and this was more important than ever during a year where our trading decisions were significantly influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Staying true to our purpose and being agile in our business decisions and direction, meant we were able to navigate a year of store closures and restrictions with an engaged workforce, zero redundancies, ensuring families were supported during this difficult time, and healthy levels of profit to continue to reinvest in our business.

“I have no doubt that the decisions we made throughout the pandemic helped us to achieve this and gave us a strong financial foothold as we entered 2021.

“We braved the storm and came out the other side even stronger – we are delighted with how we are currently trading, and while there have been hurdles along the way it has been a truly extraordinary story for us.”