Hot 100 2012: Number 2 is Baird Investments, a gold and precious-metals specialist.
Company name: Baird Investments
What they do: Gold and precious-metals specialist
The boss: Tony Baird
Latest turnover (£,000): 417,167
Four-year compound sales growth (%): 115
Latest Ebitda (£,000): 4,639
If you could borrow Dr Who’s Time Machine and nip back five years to give your younger self an investment tip, you’d only need to utter one word: “Gold.”
In 2007, gold was trading at $600 an ounce. Today gold is trading at over $1,700. Pretty much everyone in the gold industry has made a bundle from the boom, but the biggest beneficiary is Tony Baird, who founded Baird & Co in 1967.
The firm is a blue-chip brand in the gold trade, buying gold scrap, refining it and creating everything from wedding rings to sovereigns, bars to aerospace parts from gold.
So how did Baird come out top from the gold rush? “We were in the right business at the right time,” he tells us. “We had the capacity, the premises and the experienced personnel to deal with the sudden demand.” He also had the industry’s first website –established in 1996 – that’s two years before Google went live. The site now offers a huge variety of gold products to consumers, many of which are crafted by Baird’s staff of 60.
But Baird’s a cautious old bird. He knows the boom might end. “We are taking steps to diversify into different products. No I won’t tell you what, because our competition will be reading this.” I push him for a tip. Meh. Not even a hint.
The Hot 100 2012 is brought to you by Investec, Jordans, Cass Business School and Your Business Your Future.
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