Albermarle & Bond profits crash by over 75pc as gold prices slide

Troubled pawnbroker Albermarle & Bond (A&B) won't be feeling much better today.

The company has been hit by multiple setbacks - most recently announcing on the 30 September that falling gold prices have created uncertainty over its future.

Its final results for the financial year ended 30 June reveal that performance is markedly worse on the same period last year. Profit before tax is down from £21.4m to £4.9m. Revenues have slipped from £117.7m to £107.1m. Net debt is up from £43.4m to £46.2m.

The company's new CEO only showed up on 7 October, so we've got some comments from non executive chairman Greville Nicholls:

The Group's financial year ended 30 June 2013 was a particularly challenging one for pawnbroking and gold buying markets in which it operates. We were disappointed that the extent of the fall in the gold price added an additional and unexpected challenge for the business.

This weekend is emerged that rival pawnbroker H&T is considering a takeover offer for A&B, which put itself up for sale last week. Other suitors for A&B may include Jon Moulton’s Better Capital, US debt investor Apollo Global Management and A&B investor EZCorp.

A&B appointed Canaccord Genuity last week to help find a buyer for the company after a spate of troubles, including the resignation of much of its board and a nosedive in profits.

In the last two years A&B shares have fallen off a cliff, then another, and another.