Pawn broker Albemarle & Bond experienced a pre tax profit surge of 37% to £20m in the year to June 30.

Turnover shot up 48% to £82m.

The chain opened 17 stores in the year, taking its total to 132 stores and 15 pop-up shops. It expects to open a further 25 stores this year.

Chief executive Barry Stevenson said it was an “excellent result” after having “absorbed the costs of investing in the senior team, central infrastructure and adding 17 new stores”.

He added:  “Strong execution of our core pawnbroking activities were key to this result, driven by competitive lending rates.

 “We have in place a clear strategy to generate exceptional value for shareholders through our Five Year Growth Plan and as these results indicate we have begun to deliver on our objectives.”

Stevenson added that there is “substantial scope to increase the appeal and awareness” of its stores, and the chain has increased its marketing acitivity to drive like-for-like growth.

It has also refreshed its in store branding.