United Kingdom

Royal Mint returns to profit as demand soars for commemorative coins

Demand for commemorative coins honouring the likes of David Bowie helped the Royal Mint deliver a return to annual profit, it revealed this week.

The Government-owned mint, based in Wales, makes coins for the UK and countries around the world, as well as offering investment products.

It has reported a pre-tax profit of £12.4million in the year to 31 March 2021, up from a £200,000 loss the year before.

Its consumer division delivered a record performance, with earnings soaring to £12.7million after revenues nearly doubled to £1.1billion. 

The Royal Mint sent the David Bowie coin into space in December 2020, which attracted 11,000 new customers 

It was primarily driven by younger investors piling into its precious metals division during the pandemic. The Royal Mint's DigiGold platform saw a 430 per cent increase in the number of people investing as commodity prices ticked higher.

Gold is generally considered a safe investment and has been popular in times of uncertainty. Last year the global price of gold hit record levels, with prices passing $2,000 last August.

The coin manufacturer also credited sales of historic coins and exclusive 'Masterwork' pieces, including a 9.5kg gold coin to mark the Queen's 95th birthday.

It reported record international sales, particularly in the US and Asia, for its series of commemorative coins honouring the likes of Sir Elton John and David Bowie.

One Bowie coin was blasted into space last December, emulating the musician's Major Tom character. 

The Royal Mint said publicity from the event attracted more than 11,000 new customers and more than 30,000 entries for a competition to win the coin.

Its collector services division boosted its profit by 50 per cent to £2.4million. 

It has also expanded the authentication and valuation of historic coins into new markets for collectors, and has achieved 582 per cent sales growth since its launch in 2017.

'As spending habits change, we set out to reinvent the Royal Mint and secure our long-term future as a British maker,' Royal Mint chief executive Anne Jessopp said. 

'By purposely expanding into areas which complement our heritage, we have been able to attract thousands of customers to precious metals, showcase British craftsmanship and achieve record revenues. 

'We might be 1,100 years old, but we are firmly focused on the future.'

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