Lancashire family jeweller hails its most profitable year in its long history

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A Lancashire based high street jeweller has posted record annual results and says despite the coronavirus lockdown it is trading strongly in 2020.

Family-owned Beaverbrooks has seen its turnover for the year ending February 29, 2020 jump by 12.4 per cent to £143.2m, up from £127.4m the year before.

Its group operating profit (continuing operations) before discretionary payments was £17.8m up from £13m in 2019.

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During the same period, gross profit margins increased to 18.4 per cent (2019:16.4 per cent) this, the company said, was due to careful management of costs across the business.

Anna Blackburn and Mark Adlestone of BeaverbrooksAnna Blackburn and Mark Adlestone of Beaverbrooks
Anna Blackburn and Mark Adlestone of Beaverbrooks

As a result, 2019 was the biggest year in Beaverbrooks’ 101-year history, achieving in aggregate the six most profitable years since it started.

The 2020 plan for the St Annes-based business was to celebrate and build on this success, but the team barely had time to do either before the global pandemic hit in spring.

Despite this, the retailer is expecting to retain strong levels of profit in 2020 and has seen a strong recovery after lockdown with sales up 12.2 per cent year on year from August to October.

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The company, which regularly features in teh list of best ones to work for, sets great store by its efforts to help charities.

Beaverbrooks staff celebrating the company's 100th anniversary at the start of 2019Beaverbrooks staff celebrating the company's 100th anniversary at the start of 2019
Beaverbrooks staff celebrating the company's 100th anniversary at the start of 2019

Over the 12 month period some £1.78m was donated to charity from both the Company and the Beaverbrooks Charitable Trust.

Mark Adlestone OBE DL, chairman of Beaverbrooks, said: “We’ve just had the six most profitable years in our history, which we’re delighted with, and without doubt provided a strong financial footing as we entered 2020.

"Last year was an important year for us as we celebrated our centenary, so to reach this milestone and achieve the many accolades awarded to the company during this period, is fantastic.

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“We are immensely proud of what we achieved as a business in 2019/20, however no one could have predicted we would be facing a global pandemic in 2020, and the challenges this would bring for the sector as a whole.

"By respecting our heritage and values, staying true to our purpose, and adapting to the continually changing landscape, we’re seeing continued growth this year, so we’re optimistic about what the future will bring.”

Anna Blackburn, managing director, said: “There is no doubt that our last financial year, the best in the company’s history, provided us with a strong foothold to get through 2020 and beyond.

"Despite the challenges we’ve faced this year, we’ve experienced positive trading across both stores and online which has put us in a strong position as we approach Q4. This demonstrates that business agility and continued investment in people and product can deliver sustained success.

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“At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew that the way we responded would define our next chapter – we had to be strategic in our approach instead of making knee jerk reactions. Our people-centric ethos has been absolutely vital for us, now more than ever before.

"Throughout the pandemic we’ve ensured all of our colleagues felt engaged with our business decisions and direction, and this level of engagement is now paying into the bottom line.”

Beaverbrooks has featured in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for list for 17 consecutive years, and has retained its status as an extraordinary three-star accredited employer in the UK. In 2020 Beaverbrooks was named 9th Best Company to Work For in the UK and won ‘Best Place to Work’ at the Retail Week Awards.

Beaverbrooks is an award-winning family-owned jeweller established in 1919 with 72 stores across the UK, providing exceptional quality diamonds, jewellery and watches.