Laings argyll arcade

Laings reports record sales but rising overheads crimp profits

Loss of VAT rebates is costing high end jewellers sales to overseas visitors, and the cost of acquisition for domestic customers is rising.

Laings recorded a year of record sales for the year to May, 2023, but continuing investment into the group’s estate, people, marketing and technology squeezed margins.

Sales rose by 5% to £63.3 million.

Gross margin rose slightly, but EBITDA fell from £7.3 million in 2022 to £6.1 million last year due to overhead costs rising by £3 million in the year.

Laings is a longstanding partner of both Rolex and Patek Philippe. It has prestigious multibrand showrooms in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Southampton, in addition to a growing network of monobrand watch stores for the likes of Omega and TAG Heuer.

Laings uk turnover
Laings uk operating profit

In the reported 2023 financial year the company invested in its retail and workshop spaces, training and development programmes, IT infrastructure and its e-commerce platform.

Laings’ presence in its home city of Glasgow is in a period of transition that will ultimately lead to the opening of a new flagship on Buchanan Street, the busiest retail destination in the UK after Oxford Street in London.

Laings rowan house
Rendering of how the new Laings flagship on Buchanan Street, Glasgow, will look when it opens this year.

The flagship will sit at the bottom of Rowan House, Laings’ corporate office location, in which the company opened a Rolex accredited watch service centre in the spring of 2023.

Laings also appointed Serena Gough, the group’s service centre manager, to its board of directors.

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