Ramsdens reports resilient trading despite Covid-19 lockdowns

Jewellery retailer and financial services business Ramsdens Holdings has reported a resilient performance amid challenging trading conditions caused by Covid-19 restrictions.

Peter Kenyon, Ramsdens' chief executive

The firm, which has more than 25 sites in Yorkshire, said its pre-tax losses were limited to £100,000 in the six months to March 31, down from a £2.3m profit in the comparable six months before lockdowns were in place. The first UK national lockdown was introduced on 23 March 2020, and so the comparable period for the six months to 31 March 2020 was not substantially impacted by the restrictions.

Gross revenue fell 23 per cent to £21m.

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Sign up to our Business newsletter

Jewellery retail revenue rose 14 per cent to £8m despite the regional lockdown periods. Online revenue doubled year-on-year and now represents 17 per cent of total jewellery sold.

Pawnbroking gross profit fell 26 per cent to £3.5m as a result of the loan book falling as customers repaid their loans during lockdown and subdued demand for new loans.

Ramsdens said its foreign currency exchange division was severely impacted by the Covid-19 travel restrictions, resulting in income down 78 per cent to £1m.

Peter Kenyon, Ramsdens' chief executive, said: "We are pleased to have delivered a resilient performance during the period despite the difficult trading conditions experienced.

"This is a testament to the strength of Ramsdens' diversified business model, our loyal customer base, and the commitment of our employees, whom I would like to thank for their continued dedication to serving our local communities throughout the pandemic.

"We are encouraged by the current easing of restrictions across the UK including the re-opening of non-essential retail and the lifting of some international travel restrictions.

"Whilst the UK Government ‘green list’ for tourism is currently very limited, meaning we are unable to provide guidance for this summer's foreign exchange trading, we believe there is significant underlying consumer demand for international travel which the group is well positioned to capitalise on.

"Despite restrictions, during the period we continued to focus on delivering against our long term growth strategy. We currently have six new Ramsdens stores in the pipeline including debut sites in London and the South East and will continue to appraise new site opportunities in line with our expansion plans.”