Signet like for like Christmas sales up 4.2 per cent
Profits should exceed forecasts
January 9 2003
Retail jeweller Signet Group saw group like-for-like sales increase by 4.2 per cent in the eight weeks December 24.
Total sales were up by 5.8 per cent at constant exchange rates, but the weak US dollar meant that total sales declined by 1.3 per cent when currency fluctuations are taken into account. The US, where Signet trades from more than 1,000 stores including the Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry brands, accounts for more than 70 per cent of total group sales.
In the eight weeks to December 24, the US business achieved a like-for-like sales increase of 4.7 per cent in what Signet described as “a very challenging retail environment.”
In the UK, which also faced tough trading conditions, total sales increased by 4.1 per cent and, like-for-like sales rose by 3 per cent. The Ernest Jones chain traded strongly and diamond sales increased in both H.Samuel and Ernest Jones.
Signet announced that Rob Anderson, who joined the group in 2000 from Marks and Spencer has been appointed chief executive of the UK Jewellery Division.
Terry Burman, group chief executive, said: “The Group’s further advance over the important eight week Christmas period builds on the consistent growth record of the last eight years. Profit before tax should exceed current expectations and show a solid increase on last year’s level despite the impact of adverse exchange rate movements.”
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