Upmarket jeweller and silversmith Hamilton & Inches saw profits surge in its 150th anniversary year as growing numbers of overseas customers helped boost sales.
The Edinburgh business, majority owned by financier Dr Walter Scott, saw pre-tax profits in the year to 1 April jump to £1.135 million from £224,269 partly due to reduced finance costs as the firm cleared a five-year bank loan with the Bank of Scotland.
Sales grew by just over a third to £8.81m from £6.54m during a year which saw the Queen visit its George Street showroom to mark its anniversary.
As well as growth in overseas visitors, the firm said its investment in print and digital advertising campaigns had paid off by promoting the brand to a new generation of customers.
Chief executive Stephen Paterson said: “These results illustrate the confidence our clients have in Hamilton & Inches product and service, a trust established over our 150-year heritage.
“As Royal Warrant holders, a visit from Her Majesty The Queen during our 150th anniversary was a great honour for our staff, and investment in new craftsmen and women within the jewellery and silversmith workshops embodies our commitment to making wonderful things under one roof here in Edinburgh for the next 150 years.”
Paterson said the company’s Edinburgh base was the “most stunning jewellery showroom” in the UK.
“We continue to present exciting new products from around the globe and deliver exquisite jewellery and silver pieces from our own workshops above the showroom. An increased amount of overseas visitors to Hamilton & Inches were welcomed to enjoy these products by our experienced sales team, our ‘Jewellers for Generations’ advertising campaign across print and digital platforms brought the charm and excitement of wearing and sharing a Hamilton & Inches product to a whole new generation of consumer, and our long-term strategy of sourcing and supplying the finest gemstones continues to endorse the trust and confidence our loyal clients have in us as their jeweller.”
In their notes to the accounts filed at Companies House the directors said they were bullish about the future growth prospects of the company.
“We are confident in the potential of the company to grow, particularly as the economic and investment climate improves, through innovation, training and development of its talented people, creating a luxury customer experience, providing unique design and manufacturing services from its own world-class craftsmen and investing in exclusive luxury brands to retail in a majestic showroom environment to create clear blue water between the company and its competitors.”
The number of staff employed by the group edged up by one to 36 with directors’ remuneration climbing to £246,914 from £192,786.
The business was founded by Robert Kirk and James Hamilton in the 1860s. Hamilton retired after two years, leaving the company to Robert Inches. The first store was opened on Princes Street in 1866 before taking over the premises on George Street from silversmiths Brook & Sons.