The Royal Mint has raked in more than £1.2 billion in sales of precious metals as investors turn to gold amid turbulent financial markets.
The UK’s oldest manufacturer reported record pre-tax profits of £18 million in the year to March 31, a nearly £6 million jump from the £12.4 million reported last year and the largest amount since becoming a Limited company in 2010.
Profits have been entirely driven up by its consumer facing division, including historic coins and precious metal investment products, offsetting losses from its currency division, the firm said.
The UK has transitioned closer to a cashless society with the use of coins in circulation dramatically declining in recent years.
But The Royal Mint said that its evolution into a consumer brand has helped “safeguard” the business and its staff for the future.
In the latest financial year, it saw record numbers of investors hedge their portfolios with physical precious metals including gold, silver and platinum coins and bars.
Anne Jessopp, the Royal Mint’s chief executive, told the PA news agency: “We were making a loss of over three million previously but have worked hard to transform each part of the business, so we are now generating record profits.
“In particular, there has been significant growth in the numbers of women and young people who have been investing in precious metals.
“A lot of women want to invest in gold but do not know anything about it, so we have been helping them to get started.
“We have also seen more parents and grandparents gift gold for children, each birthday for example, allowing them to accumulate savings from an early age.”
Gold is typically considered to be a safer investment as it offers long-term value especially during periods of high inflation and turbulent stock markets.
And precious metal accounted for around 86% of The Royal Mint’s total revenue in the last year and almost half of its profits.
It also said that revenue in the US increased by 62%, driven up by demand for commemorative coins.
The Royal Mint is making the coins bearing the effigy of King Charles III and people will begin to see new 50p coins in circulation from around December.
Ms Jessopp said that the manufacturer is also in the process of making commemorative coins for the late Queen.
She told PA: “We will be much busier because lots of people really want to mark this moment in history.
“But the cost of making the new coins is no different to any other coin that we design and manufacture, which is what we do every day.
“Ultimately there will be no extra charge for the tax payer.”
The Royal Mint is owned by the Treasury and pays out a dividend to the Government department each year on any profit that it makes.
This year, a record dividend payment of £5 million is due to be paid for the latest financial year – above the £3.7 million paid out last year.
Graham Love, chairman of The Royal Mint, said: “It is a rare privilege to see a business transform and an even rarer privilege to be part of a team that transforms at the scale and speed of The Royal Mint.
“We are building from a stronger financial base than ever – with a portfolio of established businesses alongside promising new ventures.
“We have unveiled a new five-year plan which will see us pioneer new ways to provide sustainable precious metals, champion British craftsmanship and grow the appeal and value of The Royal Mint for future generations.”
It is set to open a new factory in 2023 where it will recycle discarded mobile phones and laptops to recover precious metals from circuit boards.
Ms Jessopp said: “Astonishingly, around 70% of the world’s gold can be found in electronics, and we are going to be bringing this new opportunity to the UK.
“We are generating profit and in a good position financially to invest in the future of the business.”