Aurum returns to profit in full-year results

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Restructuring delivers recovery and group gives positive Q1 update.

Recently restructured Aurum Holdings is back in the black after delivering a much improved set of full-year results for 2009 with earnings and profits up for the year to January 31. 

The retail group, which trades as Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths, registered profits after tax of £100,000, against a loss of £19.4 million the previous year. EBITDA was up 27 percent year on year to £10.5 million despite a 1.2 percent drop in like-for-like sales.

The full-year results indicate the company is moving towards recovery, with net debt this year reduced by 43 percent to £54.3 million. Operating profits excluding exceptional items increased 117 percent to £6.5 million as the group reduced promotional discounts and controllable overheads. 

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Aurum reduced its stock levels in 2009 to £78 million, a significant reduction on £83 million in 2009 and £106 million in 2008. The group also reduced its interest costs by 24 percent to £8 million.

The encouraging set of results follow the implementation of a five-year growth plan outlined during the company’s successful refinancing in November 2009.  

Aurum said that results in the first quarter of 2010 have also been positive, with e-commerce sales across Goldsmiths and Mappin & Webb up by 50 percent for the 13 weeks to April 25.

Mappin & Webb achieved the highest overall growth at 13 percent, but all three brands performed well, trading in the double digits with a group sales growth of 12 percent. 

Aurum Holdings chief executive Justin Stead said: “Our strong end of year results and positive start in Q1 2010 reflects the bedding in of our five-year strategy and growth plan. Seeing such success from the plan at such an early stage is evidence that Aurum is on the right track despite the tough retail climate.

“I remain cautiously optimistic considering economic forecasts in 2010 but our current results provide the company with a robust foundation to build future success.”

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