Hamilton & Inches shrugs off setbacks

Venerable jeweller Hamilton & Inches, which suffered an armed robbery at its Edinburgh store last year, has overcome tough trading conditions and rising precious stone prices to deliver a 42 per cent jump in ­annual profits.

Hamilton and Inches will carry on investing in its own designs. Picture: Justin Spittle
Hamilton and Inches will carry on investing in its own designs. Picture: Justin Spittle

The firm, which has its flagship store and silver workshop on George Street, along with a boutique in London, said it would continue to invest in its own designs and exclusive brands to “create clear blue water between the company and its competitors”.

Latest accounts filed with Companies House show that the jeweller, which employs 39 people and traces its roots back almost 150 years, made a pre-tax profit of £147,569 for the 12 months to 29 March, up from £104,094 the previous year. Turnover grew 6.8 per cent to almost £7.4 million.

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The jeweller described its financial performance during the year as “reasonable” given the difficult retail environment and “soaring commodity and precious stone prices”.

Writing in the company’s annual report, managing director Stephen Paterson also praised workers for reacting “magnificently” to the raid in June, which saw thieves armed with knives and swords smash open display cases to make off with more than £1m worth of jewellery.

“Despite extensive damage and loss, the staff rose to the challenge and the business was quickly trading again following the event,” he said.

“The directors would like to express their thanks to staff for the determined efforts to recovery quickly.”

Following a spate of raids – including the theft in 2013 of £730,000 of items from Rox on George Street – the jewellery industry has launched a security initiative to curb watch crime.

The Watch Register, which went live yesterday, will help jewellers and pawnbrokers identify stolen watches by checking serial numbers against a central database held by SaferGems, a joint initiative established by the British ­Security Industry Association, TH March Insurance Brokers and the National Association of Goldsmiths.