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Comments on recent developments in the sector

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Good, potentially good, bad and ugly
Published: Aug 29 2017

H&T is now back in expansion mode having weathered the downturn in the market far better than most of its rivals. The core pawnbroking pledge book is up 11% year-on-year to £42.7m; retail sales rose 12% to £15.3m; gold purchasing increased sales volume by 48%. In the absence of a sharp fall in the gold price we can expect profits for 2017 to be in the range of £13-15m (the range because pre-Christmas sales of “pre-loved” jewellery are important and variable) instead of £10-12m.The leak of the potential merger between Rathbones and Smith& Williamson provoked

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The fair weather investor
Published: Jul 28 2017

Results being rushed out before investors go on holiday in August? No, it just feels like it with three in three days, followed by two trading updates, the latter two arriving while this note was being written.Beazley started off the Lloyds results season with another good performance, but with a warning about a continued decline in premium rates. It must be noted that the increase in profits is wholly due to a better investment performance and that Beazley’s underwriting profits were about 4% lower – still a remarkably good performance since a 2% fall in premiums should, ceteris paribus,

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