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Signet like-for-like sales remain flat in UK

Signet, the US owner of jewellers H Samuel, Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis, has reported flat like-for-like sales in the UK for the 13 weeks to end April but said that losses have narrowed year-on-year.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Signet like-for-like sales remain flat in UK

Signet, the US owner of jewellers H Samuel, Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis, has reported flat like-for-like sales in the UK for the 13 weeks to end April but said that losses have narrowed year-on-year.

UK like-for-like sales rose by only 0.2% with total sales rising 4.5% to $149.3m (£92.3m). Net operating loss in the UK decreased from $1.2m (£0.74m) to $0.2m (£0.12m) year-on-year. Like-for-like sales were more encouraging in the US, growing by 12.5%.

Gross merchandise margin in the UK declined by 30 basis points which Signet blamed on rising commodity costs, and higher VAT and currency exchanges.

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."

He added: “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.”

H Samuel was the best performing Signet brand in the UK with like-for-likes up 2.7% and total sales at £49.1m. Like-for-likes sales decreased by 2.4% at Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis.

Signet has a total of 1,852 shops of which 1,314 are in the US.

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