Pawnbroker reports strong demand

Gold barsPawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has said continued high demand for short-term cash and a strong gold price were continuing to boost its operations.
The group, which has 169 stores and 38 gold buying "pop-up" shops, said it traded well in the four months to the end of October as more hard-up households pawned or sold jewellery in return for loans or cash.
Despite comparisons with an "exceptional" 2010, Albemarle said the pledge book in its largest division of pawnbroking showed further growth.

Gold buying also performed strongly, with gains in volumes and the margin achieved.

The current conditions mean it expects to open another 15 stores by the end of the financial year, with an additional two gold pop-up stores by Christmas.

The group recently posted higher profits for the 20th year in a row, up 5% to £21 million in the year to June 30.

Chairman Greville Nicholls told shareholders at the company's annual meeting: "The good start to the year leaves us well placed to meet management expectations for the full year."
© 2011 Press Association
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