Rox Jewellers has revealed that its profits grew dramatically during the first year of the pandemic.

The jewellery and watch retailer saw profits after tax of over £275,000 for the year ending 31 March 2021.

For the 12 months ending 31 March 2020, meanwhile, it saw a loss of over £165,000.

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This improvement it attributed to online marketing and e-commerce sales, as well as a new Glasgow boutique, cost-saving measures and financial aid from the UK Government.

The impact of the cost-saving measures can be clearly seen when the profits are compared to the more-than £3 million dip in turnover between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years. Turnover for the latter year was at just over £11.5 million, down from over £14.5 million in the year before.

“Overall turnover was down 21% in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20,” a statement from the company’s directors read. “Gross profit was slightly lower in 2020/21 at 41% compared to 43% in 2019/20.

“Net operating costs were 33% lower in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20. The company made an operating profit of £393,919 in 2020/21 compared to an operating loss of £102,282 in 2019/20.

“Sales dropped in 2020/21 due to the impact of the UK Government-imposed national and regional lockdowns on the business. Stores were closed for the best part of six months in England and nine months in Scotland. The company was able to pivot to online and they traded well when the shops re-opened which reduced the overall impact of the store closures.

“The sale of luxury watches continued to be strong throughout lockdown as demand continues to outstrip supply in this category. The sale of diamond engagement rings and diamond jewellery bounced back when the shops re-opened.

“The company made best use of the UK Government support made available for COVID-19 via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Non-Domestic rates relief. The company also undertook a full review of operating costs and significant costs saving measures were made to ensure the ongoing profitability of the business.”

The report goes on to mention that it continued to invest heavily in digital marketing and launched a new website in late 2020.

It then went on to open the UK’s first Gucci watches and jewellery boutique in Glasgow in July 2021, which has reportedly been trading better than anticipated.

The statement concluded: “The directors are pleased to report that the company has traded well in the first half of 2021 after the latest lockdown. At the time of writing, the directors are confident that the company will be profitable in 2021/22, assuming no further lockdowns.”