Signet festive trading up 5% to £1.3bn

Ernest Jones store in the Westfield Derby centre.

Signet Jewelers has announced a 5% increase in sales over the festive trading period with impressive UK growth hampered by unfavourable exchange rates.

Signet, the world’s biggest retailer of diamond jewellery and the owner of both H. Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK, reported total sales of $1.94 billion (£1.3 billion) in the eight weeks to December 26 2015.

This represented a 5% increase in sales compared to the same period in 2014, which amounted to $1.85 billion (£1.27 billion).

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Total sales (at a constant exchange rate) were also up 4.9% to $217m (£148.9 million) within Signet’s UK Division of H.Samuel and Ernest Jones (1.8% and 9% respectively) but the strong US dollar rate almost completely negated the increase, which was bumped down to just 0.9% following conversion.

In addition, Ernest Jones’ e-commerce sales were $139.7 million, up 10.9% compared to the prior year.

Elsewhere the company’s US-based Sterling Jewelers division and Zale division reported total sales growth of 7.2% and 4.9% respectively. Signet has approximately 3,600 stores worldwide.

Mark Light, chief executive officer, comments: “Signet delivered excellent holiday sales as a result of the successful execution of our product, marketing, and omni-channel selling strategies, as well as our superior customer experience. These results were driven by broad-based success across strategic store brands, merchandise categories and selling channels. The implementation of store operations initiatives in the third quarter combined with investment in our recently launched innovative merchandising and marketing programs positioned Signet well for a strong fourth quarter and beyond.”

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