German bullion retailer Degussa buys London dealer Sharps Pixley

LONDON Thu Nov 7, 2013 7:01am EST

LONDON (Reuters) - German bullion retailer Degussa Goldhandel has bought London-based broker Sharps Pixley and says it expects the retail market for gold bars and coins to keep growing.

A $200 an ounce plunge in gold prices in just two days in April sent people scrambling to pick up gold jewelry, coins and bars, and although sales have slowed in the third quarter, Degussa says its turnover remains steady.

"The second quarter was exceptionally strong, but the third quarter was only slightly below that - our turnover remains on average around 100 million euros per month," CEO Wolfgang Wrzesniok-Rossbach said on Thursday.

Degussa, with nine offices in Germany and one in Switzerland, is on track for sales of 1 billion euros in 2013, he said.

Sharps Pixley sells precious metal bars to British retail clients. The company, dating back to 1778, was one of the original members of London's twice-daily gold price fixing.

Degussa started selling precious metal bars and coins to the public again after Germany's von Finck family bought the name from Evonik (EVKn.DE) in November 2011. The company first started trading gold and silver in 1873.

(Reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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