UK based jewellery retail group Aurum Holdings, owner of the Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland stores, has been put up for sale by its owners this morning.
The announcement has coincided with the company’s full-year trading update, which shows like-for-like (LFL) trading up 16.6 per cent year-on-year for the 12 months to January 30th and a record sales total of £326 million over the period.
With EBITDA of £16.1 million for the year, the group’s owner, failed Icelandic bank Landsbanki, has decided that now is the time to cash in on the business with some estimating a sales to make as much as £200 million.
Don McCarthy, Chairman of the Aurum, commented: “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.
“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’s results look particularly good when compared to rival jewellery group Signet, owner of Ernest Jones and H Samuel, which last week posted a sales decline in the UK for its full-year period.
Online sales grew 49 per cent compared to the previous year, each brand reported significant LFL growth and the group reportedly achieved significant improvements in stock turn and the level of discontinued stock.
Justin Stead, CEO of Aurum, 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.”
Landsbanki, literally meaning ‘the national bank’ in Icelandic, was taken control of by the Financial Supervisory Authority of Iceland in October 2008 following the country’s financial crisis.