Signet reports a 2.8 rise in first-quarter same-store sales

Anglo-American jewelry retailer Signet Group plc on Thursday said first quarter same-store sales rose by 2.8 percent. Total sales for the group were up by 13.7 percent on a reported basis to $776 million for the quarter, ended April 29, when compared to the previous year’s sales of $682.7 million. At constant exchange rates the increase was 7.2 percent, due to the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, the company said.

In the U.S., which accounts for 78.2 percent of total group sales, same-store sales were up 3.9 percent, having been up 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter. Signet said the U.S. return was adversely affected by more than 3 percent as a result of a change in the timing of Mother’s Day.

In the U.K., which accounts for 21.8 percent of total group sales, same-store sales were down 0.7 percent, having been down 8.6 pct in the previous quarter.

Within the U.K., H Samuel same-store sales were down 2.4 percent, while the Ernest Jones chain same-store sales were up 1.3 percent.

“The U.S. division had a strong first quarter with underlying like for like sales up by over 7 percent after taking account of the change in timing of Mother’s Day. In the U.K., the general retail environment remains challenging,” said Terry Burman, Signet chief executive.

Signet is the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler operating approximately 1,837 specialty retail jewelry, including 1,246 stores in the U.S., where the Group trades as “Kay Jewelers,” “Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry,” and under a number of regional; and 591 stores in the U.K., where the Group trades as “H.Samuel,” “Ernest Jones” and “Leslie Davis.”

The company will announce first quarter earnings results on June 9.