Gold purchasing drives Albemarle & Bond revenue up 49 percent.
British pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has seen revenue leap 49 percent to £39.4 million in the past six months as soaring gold prices, coupled with the hardship of recession, drove up gold purchasing for the group.
Gross profit increased 31 percent to £26.3 million for the first half of the company’s financial year.
Profits were substantially strengthened by an increase in gold purchasing, which contributed £5.2 million in gross profit.
Fewer customers were buying gold, with an overall 5 percent drop in retail sales for the period.
“Favourable market conditions have led to many, primarily new, customers opting to sell older, unwanted gold jewellery, and our average loan size further increased in response to consistent customer demand for flexible and highly competitive pawn loans,” said Barry Stevenson, Chief Executive.
Stevenson believes gold purchasing will plateau this year, leading the company to shift focus towards its more traditional pawnbroking business.
“Gold purchasing made a strong contribution in the first half, and is expected to continue to contribute strongly in H2 although the year on year increase will be somewhat less. In the longer term we expect the gold purchasing market to reach maturity but we are confident that it will continue to be a significant part of our business,” he said.
Albemarle & Bond operates through 123 branches offering pawnbroking, jewellery retailing, gold buying and financial services through two brands: Albemarle & Bond Jewellers & Pawnbrokers and Herbert Brown.