LONDON -- Shares in Albemarle & Bond
For the current year, pre-tax profits were little changed at 21.4 million pounds on revenues that ticked up 15% to 118 million pounds. Gross profits increased by 13% but at the operating level, profits only rose 4%.
Albemarle & Bond, which operates 234 stores, said gold-buying volumes have remained in line with the fourth quarter of last year and margins have stayed above 30%. However, this is below the peak attained in 2012. It added that it does not currently expect any recovery in these trends.
Commenting on the results, chief executive Barry Stevenson said: "The expected downturn in the gold buying market happened very quickly and has set a new level to which we have quickly adapted. We expect gold buying to continue to be a significant profit contributor to the Group albeit at much reduced levels to that achieved at the peak."
However, given that gold contributes around a quarter of total profits, a reduction in gold transactions could impact next year's performance.
The company said: "We expect gold buying volumes and margins to reduce against the exceptional performance in FY 2012. As a result, we expect the Group's profitability, despite the continued maturing of recent openings and mitigating actions management have put in place, to be down for FY 2013."
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