High street pawnbroker Ramsdens has told investors consumers are returning to “normality” and it expects to post a pre-tax profit of £2million for the first half of the year.
The Middlesbrough-based chain said its pawnbroking portfolio stood at £7.5million at the end of March, up from £5.7million in 2021, which it said reflected consumer need in terms of short-term financing and a “normalization of customer consumption habits”. .
First-half performance was driven by higher foreign exchange volumes as the travel market recovers and holidaymakers return to their stores, as well as jewelry sales helped by inventory investment and the improved merchandising.
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Precious metal buying volumes also increased, and Ramsdens said March volumes were back to pre-pandemic levels, supported by the high price of gold.
Peter Kenyon, CEO of Ramsdens, said: “We are pleased with the group’s very strong performance during the period, the first half of a year marked by the continued easing of restrictions and the transition of consumers to the normality.
“While mindful of the impact of current macroeconomic events and widely publicized inflationary pressures, the Board of Directors is encouraged by the growing demand for Ramsdens’ services and believes that the strong momentum reported today will continue over the next Demand for Ramsdens foreign exchange services, in particular, is expected to see significant growth as more people travel overseas this summer, and we are confident that the continued strategic investment of the group in its jewelry proposition will continue to generate strong results, both in-store and online.
“We have rewarded our staff with salary increases above inflation, and I would also like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them for their dedication to both the company and our customers over the past two difficult years.
“We remain on track to open eight new stores this fiscal year, and supported by our diverse model and well-invested proposition, we look forward with confidence to the key summer business period ahead.”
Ramsdens will publish its interim report on June 8.