Strong U.S. performance lifts Signet’s quarterly sales

Signet Group plc, the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler, reported that third quarter sales rose by 5.7 percent to $547.7 million. Same-store sales advanced by 1.8% for the period, which ended Oct. 30.

In the U.S., where the group operates as Kay Jewelers, “Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry” and under a number of regional names, sales rose 12.1 percent to $388.2 million. Same-store sales were up 6.6 percent. Stores in the U.S. accounted for 70.9 percent of the London-based group’s total sales.

In the U.K., where the group operates as H.Samuel, Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis, sales fell by 7.2 percent to $160 million. Same-store sales dropped 7.2 percent for the period. Stores in the U.K. accounted for 29.1 percent of the group’s total sales.

In the 39 week period to Oct. 30, group sales rose by 5.7% to 1.8 billion. Same-store sales rose by 2.9 percent.

U.S. sales rose 11.2 percent to $1.3 billion. Same store sales for the period rose by 7.6 percent. Stores in the U.S. accounted for 73.5 percent of total group sales for the period.

U.K. sales fell 7.1 percent to 483 million. Same store sales in the U.K. decreased by 7.9 for the period. Stores in the U.K. accounted for 26.5 percent of group sales.

“Pending the outcome of the all important fourth quarter, which represents some 40% of annual sales, we believe that the range of analysts’ pre-tax profit estimates for the year as a whole should be wider than presently forecast, with an upper level no higher than that of last year,” said Terry Burman, group chief executive. “Factors contributing to this view include the continuation of difficult trading conditions in the UK, some additional easing of the US gross margin and potential uninsured costs arising from the hurricanes.”

Signet will announce third quarter results on Nov. 22.