Beaverbrooks, which runs a network of 69 stores throughout Great Britain, ended its 2016-17 financial year with sales of £119 million, the same turnover as the previous twelve months.
In an exclusive interview with WatchPro to be published in the July edition of the magazine, Beaverbrooks chairman Mark Adlestone and chief executive Anna Blackburn, said that there had been headwinds in the last financial year, which ended in February 2017, and that maintaining sales was a solid result.
“Jewellery is tough. But, having said that, we have done well on diamonds, we have done well on wedding rings. Where we have struggled is on gold jewellery, which is our historic profit centre,” Mr Adlestone says.
A drive to improve sales of Swiss watches is credited with supporting turnover as jewellery sales suffered.
“We have seen the growth is in Swiss watches, which will not be a surprise to you. We have invested more in Swiss watch brands across the estate. The challenge for us from a business perspective is that, while that can generate turnover, the profit margins that we generate are lower than we do from jewellery. That is our challenge,” explains Ms Blackburn.
“That said, without the Swiss watch business, our turnover would have been affected. So, we are happy that in terms of turnover we hit £119 million last year, which was a good effort,” she adds.
Beaverbrooks’s Swiss watch line up includes Breitling, Tudor, Omega, TAG Heuer and Oris. The company does not offer Rolex or Patek Philippe, Britain’s biggest watch brands by turnover.
Operating profit for the financial year dipped from £15.2 million in 2015-16 to £12.8 million last year. However, the 2016-17 profit is considerably above 2011-14 levels, when it averaged around £5 million per year.
Operating profit is defined by the company as total profit before distribution of profit share, charitable donations, taxation and dividends.