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Aurum sees profits rise by 53%

Aurum, the jewellery group which owns Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb, saw like-for-like sales rise by 10.2% to £300.6 million in the year to 29 January 2012.

CITY & CORPORATE

Aurum sees profits rise by 53%

Aurum, the jewellery group which owns Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb, saw like-for-like sales rise by 10.2% to £300.6 million in the year to 29 January 2012.

Operating profit rose 53% to £18.3 million while EBITDA grew to £22.5 million from  £16.1 million in the same period last year.

Aurum continued to concentrate on its six-point turnaround strategy during the year with its focus on high-margin jewellery, watch leadership, e-commerce, enhanced customer experience, improved operating efficiency and investment in people.

Aurum chief executive Justin Stead said: "2011 has been a very exciting year for us and we are delighted with our brands’ performance. We are also very encouraged by the consistent positive sales trend experienced throughout the year, which demonstrates the strength of our six-pillar strategy.

"We don't expect retail conditions to improve materially in 2012, however we remain confident that we are now in an even better position to continue to deliver growth in the future. Our results reflect the outstanding partnership we have with our key commercial brands and support partners. The entire Aurum team is to be congratulated on this world class performance as we continue to deliver the Aurum vision for our customers and clients every day."

The group opened three of the new format stores Boutique Goldsmiths in the year and also launched of Watches of Switzerland’s transactional website.

This year the group plans to revamp its Mappin & Webb chain by rolling out a new store design which will be backed up by a marketing initiative focusing on the jeweller’s English heritage.

Regarding the outlook Aurum chairman Don McCarthy said: "IThere is no doubt that 2012 will remain challenging, however I am certain that the business is well positioned to continue to drive significant growth."

The group is continuing to try and sell the business. Commenting on the sales process, the group said: "The group remains in a very controlled sales process. Interest remains high and the board is patiently reviewing potential new shareholders who will continue to back the current management team and further strengthen the existing growth strategy."

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