Shares of Albemarle & Bond Holdings Plc (ABM.L) dropped more than 7 percent Friday morning, after the pawnshops operator said it now sees full-year profitability to increase but below current market consensus.
The company said it experienced a marked slowdown in gold buying activity, together with a lower prevailing sterling gold price. This resulted in an immediate impact on volumes and margins. Meanwhile, it saw revenue growth in the period, but was at a level below its expectations.
Barry Stevenson, chief executive of the company said, "Whilst the very recent trends in Gold Buying are disappointing, we are very focussed on driving income growth out of our expanded store base and exercising rigorous cost controls."
Albemarle & Bond operates more than 200 pawnshops throughout the UK, lending cash almost exclusively against security of jewelry. The company also offers gold purchasing services.
Providing an update on current trading for the 12 months ended June 30, the company said its Gold Buying business has demonstrated continued growth in the second half. However, it added that in the last eight-week period, the percentage year-on-year rate of growth, in value of gold bought, plunged to middle single digits from over 50 percent in the first half.
The company said it expects to report final results in September and looks forward to providing a further update on strategy at that stage.
Albemarle & Bond shares are currently trading at 255 pence, down 21 pence or 7.61 percent, on a volume of 166 thousand shares, against a three-month average volume of 78 thousand shares on the LSE.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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