Albermarle & Bond shares collapse as board downgrade expectations

Shares in Albermarle & Bond have taken a hammering this morning, falling by 40 per cent as the company released its trading update.

The pawnbroking business has been in the process of renegotiating its debt and restructuring in the wake of the dramatic fall in the price of gold, on which the company had been heavily reliant.

In its trading update today the company said "the Board believes that market expectations are significantly more optimistic than its own."

The company emphasised that the competitive and trading environment remains challenging and that there were no signs of recovery in its key trading metrics such as gold buying.

Gold has fallen 27 per cent below the average price for March 2013. The group is managing within the current constrained banking facilities of £53.5m, with current debt of £50.1m as at 25 November 2013.

Chief executive, Chris Gillespie, said:

Tough trading conditions have continued to impact our results, but we are making progress controlling costs and managing within our constrained banking facilities.

Today's collapse in share price follows several recent setbacks for Britain's second largest pawnbroker.

In September the company saw shares fall 44 per cent after disclosing that the declining in the gold price created uncertainty over its future.

Troubles continued in October when the company admitted that attempts to agree a major cash injection from its largest share holder had failed, leading to a fall in its share price of 60 per cent.