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Signet Christmas sales suffer snow setback in UK


US based retail jewellery group Signet has reported a total group sales rise of 8.1 per cent year-on-year for the last nine weeks of 2010, according to results published today.

Growth was solely concentrated in the US operations of the owner of H Samuel and Ernest Jones however, as its UK division reported a 4.2 per cent fall in sales over the same period to January 1st 2011.

December’s snow meant that UK sales at the retailer were down 1.7 per cent over the 48 weeks to the start of this year, whilst overall group sales climbed by 6.6 per cent compared to 2009.

Terry Burman, Signet CEO, commented: “We are very pleased with our holiday season performance, particularly in the US division which increased same store sales by 11.7 per cent following a comparable period last year.

“The UK was negatively impacted by exceptionally adverse winter weather; however divisional management maintained very good control of gross merchandise margin and costs.”

UK sales have been falling for some time for Signet, as reported in November when the retailer revealed that trading this side of the Atlantic dropped 6.2 per cent in Q3.

Signet is predicting a 25 to 31 per cent year-on-year rise in income before tax for the full-year ending January 29th 2011, totalling between $287.5 million (£184.5 million) and $302.5 million.

It was also reported that its adjusted earnings per share are expected to soar by around 42 per cent when the retailer’s final results are announced later this year.

The end of the financial year will coincide with the stepping down of Burman as CEO of Signet, with Mike Barnes taking over the role.

Burman added: “We believe that our long-term strategy of focusing on the further development of products that differentiate us from our competitors, best in class customer service, and great marketing campaigns that leverage our leading share of voice has once again proven to be successful.

“This strategy increasingly sets us apart in the marketplace and drives profitable market share gains.”

Published on Tuesday 11 January by Editorial Assistant

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