There was a profit warning in all but name yesterday from the pawnbroker Albemarle & Bond, one of the few businesses that can honestly claim to have found the extended recession a boon to business – at least until now.
The past few years have seen a rush of people looking to cash in gold jewellery. A&B said this arm of the business is still growing but less quickly than before, from a 50 per cent growth rate in the first half of the year to "middle single digits".
A lower gold price has also hit volumes and margins.
A statement said: "It is too early to tell if this is a reflection of the reduction in footfall from the very wet weather … or a developing trend."
The broker Daniel Stewart called the news a "thinly veiled profit warning". Analysts had been expecting A&B to make nearly £24m profit this year. It will now fall short of that. A&B has 215 stores across Britain.