The Company of Master Jewellers’ revenues have fallen by 42% according to its latest accounts, published on Companies House this morning.
Turnover for the business fell from £4.16m to £2.42m in the 12 months ending 31 March 2019 compared with the previous year, and “sales value of goods purchased by members” – an uncommon metric the CMJ includes in its own accounts to show sales activity between suppliers and buyers on its roster – also fell 41% from £183.5m to £107.4m.
Gross profit was also down 31% from £2.24m to £1.54m, however, the balance sheet moved back into the black as losses of around £365,000 in the previous accounts were replaced with net profits of about £258,000, driven at least partially by a marked reduction in headcount, from 45 to just 18.
The cash position of the business also improved dramatically, by 52%
The CMJ has spent recent years battling to restore the confidence of its members after the surprise exit of former chief executive Willie Hamilton in 2016. His exit coincided with a £100,000 bonus paid out to an unnamed recipient, the accounts moving into the red, and mounting criticism that the buying group had tried to take on too many competing functions.
At the time, current chairman Michael Aldridge promised a new era of corporate governance and transparency, and suggested that the divestment of non-core activities was on his agenda.