Profits rocket for Gemporia as firm starts to recover from failed US expansion

Gemporia Partnership has recorded a rise in profits as the business starts to recover from a failed attempt to expand into the US.

According to accounts filed with Companies House, the company, which runs its own broadcasting facility, customer services call centre and warehouse in the UK, alongside its own gemstone jewellery manufacturing supply chain operation in India, saw pre-tax profits rocket by more than £9m during the year ended March 2018.

This is up from £853,897 in the prior 12 months.

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However, during the same financial year turnover dipped from £67.2m to £57.9m.

The results come after the business, which was then called The Genuine Gemstone Company, recorded a drop in turnover from £101.5m to £67.2m in the year to 31 March 2017 while its pre-tax profits were slashed from £11.5m to £853,897 because of the failure of the US division as well as the impact of the Brexit vote.

The US division was shut down in November 2016 with the business refocusing on its UK operations and also producing pre-packaged programmes for European shopping channels.

In an exclusive interview with Insider last year, founder Steve Bennett, revealed: “We lost a fortune in the States and is was a disaster for us.

“The whole of the management team was out in the States trying to make it work and we lost our focus on the UK. We have now refocused on what we do best and are also working hard to produce pre-packaged programmes as a way of expanding into Europe.

According to the latest accounts, the group’s employees acquired a majority shareholding in the business in December 2017, but the founders retain a “significant” stake and continue to contribute to the strategic direction and running of the company.

Speaking on the results, Bennett tells Insider: “We are operating in exceptional times – I can’t remember a time when retail was as challenging as it is today and the uncertainty about what Brexit will mean is of concern to us all.

“As I said earlier in the year, the business – which is now 75 per cent owned by its employees has refocused on our UK operations. That renewed focus has resulted in fewer sales but has delivered an increase in profits.”

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