Aurum enjoys 13% sales increase to £280m

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Retail giant says first half was a very positive start to the year.

Aurum Holdings, owner of Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths has today filed its accounts for the full year to January 30 2011, with a market update on its trading for the current year.

For the year to January 30, Aurum’s sales increased by 13% to £280.6m, an increase of 16.6% on a like-for-like basis.

EBITDA was up 53% to £16.1m, and operative profit increased by 85% to £12m.

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Aurum has described these figures as “a very positive start to the year”, with its sales rising significantly.

Its accounts show that group sales for the 25 weeks to July 24 2011 were up 11% on a like-for-like basis and that its three brands – Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths have enjoyed stone performance.

Aurum’s e-commerce sales across Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb are up 24%, indicating that both retailers have driven the growth of high margin jewellery sales.

It has also maintained watch leadership with a focus on investing in market leading brands across all three brand fascias, with sales in Watches of Switzerland being particularly strong.

This strong performance is said to be due to a “defined six pillar strategy” which focuses on the development of high margin jewellery, watch leadership, e-commerce, enhanced customer experience, improved operating efficiency and investment in people.

Initiatives which have driven sales this year include the introduction of a “click and collect” service, and improvements to the transactional aspects of the Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths websites.

The Board expects the improved operation efficiency to create further leverage as the business looks for additional growth opportunities, set to include the new Goldsmiths Boutiques, which will offer watch and jewellery brands below the £300 mark, set to debut at the Westfield mall at Stratford, east London.
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Earlier this year, Aurum’s shareholders appointed Cavendish Corporate Finance to manage the sale process of the company. Aurum has said the process remains on track with key objectives centred on finding the right partner for the management team to realise the five year growth plan.

Justin Stead, CEO of Aurum Holdings, said: “We are delighted with Aurum’s continued strong performance underlined by a significant increase in both sales and profit. The company strategy continues to gather momentum in a very challenging retail environment and this is validated by the year to date +11% like-for-like sales performance.

“Our commercial product and marketing strategies are well differentiated from our competitors and our relentless focus on the customer in all that we do is clearly resonating in the marketplace. We remain confident for another significant increase in sales and profit for 2011.”

Don McCarthy, chairman of Aurum Holdings added: “Aurum continues to take market share despite 2010 being one of the most challenging economic environments on record and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Justin and the entire team at Aurum for delivering another outstanding set of numbers.

“The Aurum Board is extremely pleased with this performance as the company goes from strength to strength driven by a team that remains focused on delivering a well defined strategy," he added.
 

 

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