Britain’s biggest pawnbroker, H&T, says that its fast-growing watch business and rising gold price were key contributors to a 62% increase in profits for the first six months of 2017.
Sales for the first half of the year rose 4.1% to £49.05 million, putting the company on track to hit £100 million turnover this year. Profit rose to £6 million for the six month period.
John Nichols, chief executive, said: “We have made a strong start, in this our 120th anniversary year, with a 62% increase in profit before tax to £6m driven by revenue increases in all key segments. The results reflect a series of initiatives beginning to bear fruit and a favourable gold price.
“We have also expanded our collection of high-end watches and the investment we have made in the est1897.co.uk website means we are now well placed to cement our position in this marketplace. This is a milestone year in the history of H&T and the enhancements we have made across our business, which have redefined the pawnbroking model, allow us to look to the future with confidence.”
Retail sales now account for over one-third of turnover for H&T, with the businesses’s e-commerce site est1897.co.uk, which specialises in pre-owned watches and jewellery contributing to a rise in retail sales from £13.6 million in the first six months of 2016 to £15.3 million for the first half of this year.
Est1897, which also has high street outlets, now has more than 500 high-end watches available to buy online or through click and collect, the company says.
TAG Heuer has the most watches listed online, with 192 offered for sale when WatchPro checked today. There were 143 Rolex watches and 120 Breitlings listed.