Abbeycrest upbeat about future prospects

JEWELLERY designer Abbeycrest says trading has been "solid" over the past four months across all its businesses.

The Leeds-based group said this was particularly encouraging given the adverse impact of foreign exchange movements.

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

Underlying profits continue to improve year on year.

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The remaining balance of 1.0m outstanding on a loan is due to be repaid in February and Abbeycrest said it has a number of options to fund the final settlement.

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.

Chairman Simon Ashton said: "We remain confident and determined that despite the specific challenges faced in our markets, the group has the strategy, skills and management to continue the transformation of Abbeycrest."

The group has had to cope with a 10-20 per cent decline in the value of Hong Kong dollar and Thai Baht over the financial year to date.