By Sarah Jordan
The Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ) has presented its yearly financial report at the Group’s Annual General Meeting in Birmingham today, citing sales growth of 28% to just shy of £113 million, with gross profits also rising 17%.
Speaking to the CMJ members today (Sunday August 3), CMJ finance director Andrew Hirshman reported that Group sales rose from the £88.1m recorded in 2012 to 2013, to just shy of £113 million in 2013 to 2014, which represents a rise of 28%.
Hirshman added: “This is the first time we have broken through the £100 million barrier, a remarkable achievement and congratulations to all the members for your contribution to this fantastic result.”
Gross profits also rose from £1.74 million to £2.04 million, an increase of 17%. As a result the CMJ reports "it is in its strongest financial position since founding 34 years ago".
Hirshman continued: “This is a wonderful platform for the next phase of our growth and development as the leading jewellery cooperative buying group in the UK. Exciting times are indeed ahead of us and we the board of directors, in conjunction with our dedicated executive team, are certainly looking forward to what lies ahead for the CMJ.”
Tracking sales growth in line with the industry statistical categories, CMJ Group sales in the fashion jewellery category showed an increase of more than 30%, while the precious jewellery category dropped by 10%. The watch category grew by almost 20% in sales through the CMJ.
CMJ chief executive Willie Hamilton said that the trend within CMJ reflects market analysts’ predictions that branded fashion brands would continue to grow, while precious jewellery would decline.
Hamilton explained: “However, the encouraging sales trends within CMJ shows that the sub-category of bridal jewellery is still the largest part of our core precious jewellery sales. We do forecast this area to grow once again as the economy continues to recover, as consumer confidence continues to return and as our members start to refocus back on this critical side of their business.”
Hirshman reported that: “Another point of interest and one which is encouraging is that 57% of CMJ members’ spend this financial year was ahead of their corresponding spend last year. This is up from 52% of the members in the previous year. This bodes well for the year ahead and further adds to the arguments that there is economic light at the end of the tunnel.”
Further illustrating the growth of the CMJ, Hirshman revealed figures showing just how many invoices are processed through the CMJ’s head office in Rugby. He explained: “In the year ending March 2010, the accounts team processed just short of 75,000 invoices and by the end of year to March 2014, the team were handling just under 130,000 invoices, a rise of 55,000, or 73% in just 5 years and just over 10,000 a month.”
Willie Hamilton said: “With seven years of continued growth, CMJ has proven the strength that can be achieved by independent jewellers working together as a collective. CMJ has grown through the worst of economic times in the UK and with a cautious but positive future economic upturn predicted in the UK, independent jewellers large and small that want to share in that growth are encouraged to contact us for no obligation discussion on joining the CMJ collective.”