Signet Same-Store Sales Down 3.4%

Signet Group plc reported that first-half same-store sales were down by 3.4 percent and total sales were down by 0.6 percent to $1.6 billion. Group profit before tax fell by 27.8 percent to $78.7 million for the period, ended Aug. 2.

In the U.S., which accounts for 75 percent of total revenue, first-half same-store sales were down 5.2 percent and total sales fell 0.8% to $1.2 billion. Operating profit was down 24.9 percent to $94.8 million, the company said. The company said the U.S. is currently “a very challenging retail environment.”

In the U.K., which accounts for 25 percent of group revenue, first-half sales were flat at $384.7 million. Same-store sales were up by 2.3 percent, which the company, “a very encouraging performance given the trading environment, the company said.

“The Group’s strong balance sheet and superior operating metrics on both sides of the Atlantic enables the business to continue to implement its proven strategy,” said Terry Burman, group chief executive said in the half-year report released Thursday. “Appropriate adjustments in execution are being made to reflect the challenging economic conditions with tight control of costs, inventory, gross merchandise margin, and investment in new space. As a result, the business will be well positioned when the economy improves. However, in the short term, the consumer environment in both the US and the UK remains very challenging. As always, the results for the year will be significantly influenced by the Group’s performance during the important Christmas period.”

Signet operates approximately 1,973 specialty retail jewelry stores, including included 1,414 stores in the U.S., where the group trades as “Kay Jewelers,” “Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry,” and under a number of regional names; and 559 stores in the U.K., where the group trades as “H.Samuel,” “Ernest Jones,” and “Leslie Davis.”