Up-for-sale jeweller Aurum plans to launch Mappin & Webb internationally and push high-margin growth areas as part of plans to grow EBITDA from £16.1m to £40m over the next three to five years.
Aurum chief executive Justin Stead said: “We’re going to more than double profits. We’re focusing on driving high growth areas of our business such as classic and fashion jewellery.”
Stead said he would launch high-end chain Mappin & Webb internationally within the next three years. He said this strategy had attracted a “lot of interest” in the group’s sale process. “It’s a much-loved brand,” he said. “There is no global competitor to Tiffany & Co, but we think Mappin & Webb could be it.”
Aurum, which also operates Goldsmiths and Watches of Switzerland, said the sale process, managed by Cavendish Corporate Finance, was on track. The jeweller, 67% owned by collapsed Icelandic bank Landsbanki, was put up for sale in April with a £200m price tag.
The jeweller grew EBITDA 53% to £16.1m in the year to January 30. The group made a pre-tax profit of £6.6m this year, compared to a £106,000 loss last year.
Total sales were up 13% to £280.6m. Like-for-likes for the period soared 16.6%. In its current year the jeweller’s like-for-like sales for the 25 weeks to July 24 were up 11%.
As part of its high-margin strategy, Aurum will open a Goldsmiths Boutique at Westfield Stratford City to target a younger customer with fashion jewellery.
Stead said price points would be much lower as the chain is focussed on sales volumes.
The jeweller trialled the boutique concept earlier this year in Leicester but Stead said the Stratford City store would be dramatically different. It will include in-store technology such as iPads and a vending machine that allows customers to shop when the store is closed.
Stead said: “It’s fresh and unlike any jewellery store on the high street. It opens up a whole new brand for us.” If successful, Aurum will open 30 to 50 Goldsmiths Boutique shops over the next three to five years. It has already signed to open another store in Thurrock.
The jewellery group will also launch a transactional site for its Watches of Switzerland brand in September.