Albemarle plunges as clients keep gold

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The Independent Online

Albemarle & Bond has revealed its ongoing pain as clients exchanging their gold for cash have dried up.

The shares crashed 7 per cent, or 17p, to 212.25p as the pawnbroker and payday lender revealed that pre-tax profits for the first half fell 33 per cent to £8.1m from £12.1m a year earlier.

The 233-outlet group said it expected "tougher" trading conditions to continue. It is planning to open five branches this year.