Global jewellery retailer Signet has reported a huge 59 per cent rise in income before income taxes for its first quarter period, it was announced today.
Total sales and same store sales both rose 10.2 per cent in the 13 weeks to April 30th 2011, but over this period like-for-like UK sales rose just 0.2 per cent and trading at constant exchange rates actually fell 1.3 per cent in this country.
The owner of the Ernest Jones and H Samuel jewellery stores has reduced its portfolio space in the UK by 1.5 per cent, compared to 1.1 per cent globally, during the period and its UK operations now represent only 16.8 per cent of overall sales.
Mike Barnes, CEO of Signet, said: “We are very pleased with our strong start to the year, leading to record results for the first quarter. Our performance was led by our US division, with the UK division continuing to operate well in a challenging economy.
“We believe we continued profitable market share gains due to favourable reception to our product offerings as a result of superior quality and craftsmanship, attentive customer service and memorable marketing campaigns.”
Q1 trading for Signet was an improvement on the previous quarter when total sales improved by 6.7 per cent, but its growth is still being bettered by Aurum Holdings which posted record sales last month.
Just two days ago (May 24th) the firm entered into a new credit agreement worth $400 million (£245 million) in a five-year revolving credit facility and the basic and diluted earnings per share, both $0.87, were up 47.5 per cent and 50 per cent respectively.
Barnes added: “The strong sales momentum has continued into the start of the second quarter, and our focus remains on enhancing our sustainable competitive advantages, improving our execution and maintaining financial flexibility.
“We remain well positioned to continue to increase sales productivity and achieve our financial objectives for this year.”