Ramsdens profits buoyed by ‘strong’ Christmas trading

Pawnbroker Ramsdens has seen shares jump after it said it will surpass profit forecasts on the back of “strong” Christmas trading.

The retailer, which also offers services such as currency exchange, said each of its divisions saw sales increase over the festive period, meaning its full-year pre-tax profits are set to be “comfortably ahead of market expectations”.

It said profits in its metals business were higher than predicted on the back of the recent rise in gold prices.

Ramsdens said its pawnbroking and foreign currency arms both continued to produce “good results”.

The group’s jewellery retail division “performed well” in stores and online, with double-digit growth over the Christmas period, it said.

It added that there was increased demand for new jewellery products, with sales of premium watches buoying overall sales.

Ramsdens also confirmed that it expects to report a £800,000 one-off profit from its decision to scrap some of its slower moving jewellery stock.

Chief executive Peter Kenyon said: “We are encouraged by the strong momentum across the business and, as a result, the board now anticipates full-year profits will be comfortably ahead of current market expectations.

“We are very pleased with the performance of our jewellery retail business over Christmas, both in store and online.

“This reflects the growing reach and recognition of Ramsdens as a jewellery retailer, and the appeal of our new jewellery products, premium watches and unique secondhand pieces as great-value Christmas gifts.

“We look forward to updating our stakeholders further following the end of our financial year.”

Shares in the business rose 4.4% to 246p in early trading on Wednesday.