Gold helps boost pawnbroker's coffers

CASH-STRAPPED consumers offloading their gold jewellery helped to boost the coffers at pawnbrokers Albemarle & Bond in the latter half of 2009.

The FTSE Small-Cap group posted a 75 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £10.8m with revenue soaring 49 per cent to £394m. Its “cash-for-gold” division proved particularly popular with recession-hit consumers looking to benefit from strong gold prices and get their hands on some short-term cash.

“Consumer awareness of the higher gold price, alongside competitor TV and web advertising, has driven customer traffic to our stores,” the group said.

Gold hit a series of record highs at the end of the year.

However, the company said its gold purchasing division is expected to slow down in the second half of the year.