By Henry Sanderson
The Royal Mint, which makes coins for sale around the world, has cemented its status as a rising force in online gold trading with its highest annual profits in more than five years.
Operating profit jumped by almost a fifth to £13.1m in the financial year to the end of March, the Mint said on Tuesday, as online demand for its gold and silver coins and bars surged. In a reference to its heritage as one of the world’s oldest companies, it described the results as “the most profitable year in [its] 1,100-year history.”
Launched in late 2014, the Mint’s online gold and silver platform is targeted at retail customers who can store the precious metal they buy in its vault in south Wales. The government-owned Mint made 4.4bn coins for sale in around 40 countries last year.
Sales of silver proved particularly popular in the US after a marketing campaign, said Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint. “We’ve grown our profile on the global stage,” he said.
Last year the Mint launched its Signature Gold product, which allows customers to buy a fraction of a gold bar stored at the Mint’s vault with as little as £20. In contrast, a 1kg gold bar costs £33,123.
That helped lift operating profit at its bullion trading division to £2.87m in the past financial year. Its revenues rose by 64 per cent to £185.6m.
The move into online gold and silver trading brings the Royal Mint into competition with other popular online trading platforms in the UK such as BullionVault and Birmingham’s BullionByPost.