Currency exchange and pawnbroking business Ramsdens has said online jewellery sales soared in the last six months as it prepares for a potential reopening of the travel industry.
The company said that while it had kept almost 90% of its stores open, it also saw strong growth online, more than doubling revenue from its online jewellery sales compared with the same period last year.
Yet the board said it expects to report a small loss for the six months.
“We are pleased with the group’s resilient performance despite the ongoing difficult trading conditions – testament to the strengths of Ramsdens’ diversified business model,” said chief executive Peter Kenyon.
Focus will now be on the summer, with hopes that people will be able to travel again.
This week the Government said it will not say whether international travel can go ahead on May 17 until early next month.
It angered airlines, which said that it was not the announcement that ministers had promised.
Mr Kenyon said: “We are encouraged by the vaccine rollout, the expected reopening of non-essential retail in England next week and the most recent UK Government announcements on international leisure travel as ‘sticking to the road map’.
“Whilst the lack of current detail regarding certain country restrictions and quarantine conditions means we are unable to provide guidance for this summer’s FX trading, we do believe there is significant underlying consumer demand for international summer travel, which is encouraging.”
With the easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming months, Mr Kenyon believes the business can get back to “more normal trading patterns” and will start opening new stores over the next six months.
It will add to the Middlesbrough-headquartered business’s 156 stores across the UK.
Shares in the company dropped 4.6% as markets opened on Friday.