The basicsCompany name: Baird Investments
What they do: Gold and precious metals specialist
The Boss: Tony Baird
The financialsLatest turnover (?,000): 1,356,147
Four-year compound sales growth (%): 135
Latest Ebitda (?,000): 6,249
The detailsThis is a Hot 100 veteran. Better known under its trading name Goldline, Baird Investments is the UK?s largest bullion merchant. Last year, in terms of metals turnover, the company handled 28 tonnes of gold, 520 tonnes of silver and one tonne of platinum. This translates into a bumper year financially: Baird Investments more than tripled turnover, from ?417m to ?1.4bn last year, from more than 20,000 customers in 42 countries. ?Our growth is thanks to us being in the right place at the right time and being able to cope with what comes in,? says Tony Baird, the company?s chief executive. ?We diligently pursue new business all the time and we?re light on our feet for making decisions. This allows the business to adapt to opportunities very quickly. We rarely turn any business down.? As well as trading precious metals, the business buys scrap metal from customers ? last year the business bought in excess of 60 tonnes of ?scraps? which, together, are worth a whole lot. Would the business lose its Midas touch should there be a gold crash? Baird says he isn?t worried: ?We?re very careful and hedge our inventory as we buy it. At the end of each day, we?ve got zero exposure. That doesn?t mean we don?t own any stock, but that we?ve already forward-sold it.?
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