Aurum up for sale after record trading year

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WoS, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths owner could fetch £200m.

After one of the most successful trading years in the jewellery and watch retail group’s history, Aurum Holdings has been put up for sale.

It has been reported that Aurm, which owns Goldsmiths, Watches of Switzerland and Mappin & Webb, could fetch as much as £200 million in the sale.

Aurum chairman Don McCarthy said: “Aurum has been one of the few success stories on the British high street over recent years. Since the restructuring of the group in 2009, the business has delivered well beyond our expectations in terms of both revenue and profit growth.

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“[Chief executive] Justin Stead and his team have significantly outperformed the first two years of our investment plan and we have therefore decided to look for a new investor that is able to assist this team in capitalising on the very significant and credible opportunities that are now presenting themselves.”

Aurum, which has a total of 165 stores, posted total sales of £326 million in the year to Jaunuary 30, up 16.6 percent on like-for-like sales from the year before, with core earnings of £16.1 million.

Aurum Group is owned by Landsbanki Islands hf, Don McCarthy and the Aurum management team. A financial restructuring in 2009 allowed the business to recapitalise its balance sheet and continue its focused strategy across the group’s three core brands.

Stead said: “It is very pleasing to see that our well documented strategy is starting to deliver significant returns. Our vision for the future suggests that we are at the very beginning of an exciting period in the group’s history. We have enjoyed great support from our existing shareholders, but recognise that their investment horizon was always going to be limited. We are now looking forward to working with a new shareholder that can support us in realising our serious ambitions and outstanding potential for the Aurum business in the years to come.”

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