StockMarketWire.com - Pawn broker Ramsdens scrapped its final dividend after the Covid-19 pandemic weighed on its profit performance.

The company posted a pre-tax profit for the 18 months to 30 September of £9.2 million, having recently changed its balance date from 31 March.

The figure was higher than the previous year's £8.5 million, though that figure was only for the 12-month period to 31 March 2020.

Revenue in the 18 months through September was £76.9 million, compared to £59.5 million for the 12 months through March.

Ramsdens said it was prudent to retain cash, given considerable ongoing uncertainty, challenging trading conditions and the fact it was continuing to receive government support.

'This will position the group to maximise the opportunity when the 'new normal' returns,' it said. 'As a result, the board is not recommending a final dividend for the period.'

The company makes much of its revenue from selling jewellery and also had a currency exchange service.

Chief executive Peter Kenyon said the 18-month period covered by the earnings statement could be broken down into two distinct sections.

'Firstly, Ramsdens delivered its strongest ever 12-month performance prior to the impact of Covid-19 when the business achieved further growth and made strategic progress across each of its income streams,' he said.

'The subsequent impact of Covid-19 and the enforced closures of stores and restrictions on international travel demonstrated the resilience of our diversified business model.'

'Despite the significant headwinds experienced since March as a result of the pandemic, we have continued to trade profitably and maintain a strong cash position.'

'As we move into 2021, a lot of uncertainties remain. However, there are promising signs in the form of a vaccine and - whatever the outcome is - we will have greater clarity regarding what Brexit means for consumers and businesses.'




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