Shares in Britain’s biggest pawnbroker H&T slide as it warns that every 10% fall in the price of gold would wipe about £2m off its profits

Gold price collapse hits pawnbroker profits

Shares in largest British high street gold buyer H&T slide as it warns that every 10% fall in the price of gold would wipe about £2m off its profits

Rupert Neate, Friday 24 May 2013 17.06 BST

Britain’s biggest pawnbroker on Friday warned the collapse in the goldprice will knock its profits. H&T, the largest British high street gold buyer, warned that every 10% fall in the price of gold would wipe about £2m off its pre-tax profits. The stock market warning sent the company’s shares tumbling more than 11% on Friday to 224p. Pawnbrokers have been surfing on the wave of soaring gold prices for the last few years with TV adverts and websites encouraging consumers to cash in their jewellery. But gold has lost almost a fifth of its value so far this year as some investors lose faith in the metal as a safe haven. Gold was trading at $1386 an ounce on Friday, significantly below the $1,600 an ounce price when H&T last updated investors. The company, which trades in 186 shops and a further 24 pop-up “GoldBar” kiosks in shopping centres, made a £12m profit from buying and selling gold last year, buying up more than £40m of gold from customers and selling it on for £52m. Those profits were down from “super-normal” profits of £17m in 2011, when it benefited from the “rising gold price environment”. H&T said it expected the collapse in the gold price would lead to more unwanted jewellery being resold to consumers rather than sold as scrap to metal dealers. “We sell as much as we can through shop windows, and anything that we can’t gets sold as scrap – but that is subject to the gold price,” a spokesman said. “As the price falls we expect more will be resold as jewellery rather than melted down.” Rival pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond has already warned investors that it has been forced to “revise down” its profit expectations because of the gold price collapse.

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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