Diamonds are Goldsmiths' best friends

The company behind the Goldsmiths jewellery chain nearly doubled its profits last year, thanks to strong demand for gold watches and diamond rings.

Aurum, which also owns the luxury jeweller Watches of Switzerland and Mappin & Webb, has moved upmarket with brands, including Cartier and Rolex, and is piloting a concept called Boutique by Goldsmiths. It has opened three so far while a new store format for Mappin & Webb is being rolled out.

The group posted pre-tax profits of £12.1m, on turnover of £301m, for the year to 29 January. Aurum's Icelandic owner put the business up for sale last year, but improved trading has meant a sale is less urgent, said sources. But, talks continue with a number of potential buyers. Its net debt has reduced by £5m to £49.5m.

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