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UK jeweller Aurum says performance exceeds expectations

LONDON, March 25, 2009 - Aurum Holdings, owner of jewellers Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and Watches of Switzerland, said it was trading ahead of expectations, following the collapse of former investor Baugur.

"We have reviewed all aspects of our business and executed appropriate cost cutting measures to ensure prudent steps are taken in line with the current economic climate," it said.

Aurum said it issued the trading update following the collapse of former 37.75 percent shareholder Baugur Group, the Icelandic investor.

In February this stake passed to Baugur's major creditor Landsbanki Islands, via PricewaterhouseCoopers, after Landsbanki petitioned in the UK courts for BG Holding, Baugur's main asset-holding subsidiary in the UK, to be placed in administration

Aurumís chief executive Justin Stead said current like-for-like performance was flat, which he said was encouraging given the downturn on the high street, adding recent data suggested the firm outperformed the market.