Stanley Gibbons posts annual profits rise as online sales jump

Stamp collection company Stanley Gibbons Group saw an increase in 2012 pre-tax profit as online sales soared.

Stamp collection company Stanley Gibbons Group saw an increase in 2012 pre-tax profit as online sales soared.

Adjusted profit before tax of £6.0m grew by 11% on the previous year's £5.4m. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came to £6.5m, up 12% from £5.8m.

Results were driven by internet sales, which rose 55% during the year, and revenues outside the UK. However, total sales dropped slightly to £35.6m from £35.7m.

The acquisition of bidStart, a US-based online collectibles trading platform in November 2012 for a $1.0m, helped strengthen the company's results.

The group also expanded its global reach, opening an office in Hong Kong in September which contributed sales of £2.6m and profits of £0.7m.

"The continued growth in the profitability of the group in 2012 was achieved at the same time as substantial investment was made and corresponding progress in the implementation of our broader online strategy, which is expected to deliver material growth in future years," said Chairman Martin Bralsford.

"Specifically, the bidStart acquisition brings us the technology required to develop the global online collectibles trading platform."

He said the market for rare collectibles showed resilience as the benchmark GB250 Stamp Price Index grew 11% over the past year.

The company proposed a final dividend of 3.75p per share, compared to 3.50p the prior year.

In the year ahead, the firm expects profits to be impacted by its increased investment in its online strategy. It is, however, expected that the costs of the investment this year will be more than compensated for by growth opportunities in other parts of the business.

RD

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