Fresh start for Albemarle & Bond as new CEO steps up

Today Chris Gillespie joins troubled company Albemarle & Bond as the new CEO. Gillespie was, until September 2013, the executive director for Provident Financial, which he joined in 2007 as managing director, consumer credit division.

Shares in the company took a hammering on the 30th September with a fall 44 per cent, after the company disclosed that the fall in the gold price created uncertainty over its future and and a negative outlook for profitability. The company is particularly sensitive to the price of gold with its two largest businesses - pawnbroking and gold-buying - inextricably linked to the price of gold.

Net debt for the comapny stands at £51m remaining below the agreed limit of £61m. In order to shore up the company's balance sheet, discsussions have been held with the group's largest shareholder EZCORP for the possible underwriting of a £35m rights issue priced at 50p a share.

The company has taken action including reducing costs such as the recent closure of 33 gold buying stores which were no longer profitable.