Pawnbroker H&T said that pre-tax profits soared 70.6% in the six months to June 30 with retail sales up 22% for the period to £8.6m.

H&T now has 128 stores, with six opened for the reporting period, and said like-for-like sales were flat year-on-year.

H&T chief executive John Nichols said: “On the basis of the current gold price we believe full year result is likely to be above the top end of market expectations. The board however remains mindful of the economic climate and the sustainability of gold purchasing volumes.”

During the period H&T launched a new online operation under the H&T name and said it would continue to expand its retail portfolio.

H&T also reduced its debt pile from £42.3m on December 31 to £30.4m on June 30.