Abbeycrest looking at better times

JEWELLERY designer Abbeycrest said trading to the end of February continues to be steady and the directors remain confident for the group.

The Leeds-based company also said that it has paid 950,000 to Agilo Master Fund in a full and final settlement of debts owed to the fund. In addition Abbeycrest has repaid the 1.6m due to HMRC which had been subject to a "time to pay arrangement".

Abbeycrest said it will announce its final results towards the end of June.

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The group expects to see a marked year on year improvement in both profits and debt.

In January Abbeycrest reported "solid" trading across all its businesses despite the adverse impact of foreign exchange movements.

The group has also had to face "the inexorable rise" in the price of gold, which continues to affect demand for most of its products as well as squeezing margins.

But underlying profits and debt levels continue to improve year on year.

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Last year the group decided to quit the most price sensitive areas of the market and focus on a reduced customer base, with fewer products and a greater degree of product branding.

It has had to cope with a steep decline in the value of the Hong Kong dollar and Thai Baht.