Britons sell gold for cash, boost Albemarle & Bond earnings
UK-based pawnbroker says it traded well in the four months to end-October as hard-up Britons sold their gold for cash.
LONDON (Reuters) -
Pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond said it had traded well in the four months to end-October as hard-up Britons pawned and sold gold jewellery for cash.
"During this most recent period demand for short term cash has remained high, and with a strong gold price, the group's services enabling customers to access good value loans by pawning gold jewellery and realise cash by selling unwanted gold jewellery have continued to grow," the firm said on Friday.
Britons have been feeling the pinch as disposable incomes are squeezed by rising prices, muted wage growth and government austerity measures, and as they worry about a stagnant housing market, job security, a fragile economic recovery and the euro zone debt crisis.
Albemarle & Bond, which trades from 169 full line stores and 38 gold buying pop-up shops, said it was well placed to meet management expectations for the full year.
The firm said the market for retailing gold jewellery remains very weak. It continues to prefer to scrap second hand jewellery if this generates a better return on capital.
Shares in Albemarle & Bond, up 12 percent over the last year, closed Thursday at 318 pence, valuing the business at 177 million pounds ($280 million). ($1 = 0.633 British Pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; editing by Neil Maidment)