Signet Group reports Q4 and fiscal 2014 results

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UK sales decline 3.4% year-on-year, but Q4 figures prove positive.

Signet Group has announced its fourth quarter and fiscal 2014 financial results for the 13 weeks and the 52 weeks ended February 1 2014 respectively, citing an overall UK sales decline of 3.4% compared to fiscal 2013.

Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2014

Signet Group’s UK division experienced total sales of $272.2m (£163.7m), up $3.8m (£2.2m) or 1.4% compared to the same point in 2013. Same store sales increased by 5.7%, which is in stark contrast to a decline of 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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The Group claims sales were primarily driven by growth in its bridal and fashion diamond jewellery ranges, as well as fashion and prestige watches.

The average merchandise transaction value was consistent with the previous year at H. Samuel, but declined at Ernest Jones. However, the number of merchandise transactions increased at Ernest Jones and decreased at H. Samuel due to a continuing store closure program.

In e-commerce, sales across the UK were up to $17.1m (£10.2) compared to $12.9m (£7.7m) in 2013 – an increase of 32.6%.

In the US division, total sales were $1,288.0m (£774.4m), up 3.5% or $43.1m (£25.9m) on the previous year due to strong bridal, coloured diamond and fashion jewellery collections. E-commerce sales also showed growth rising $10.9m (£6.5m) or 21.4% to $51.0m (£30.6m) since Q4 2013.

For Signet Group across the US and the UK, total sales were up $50.7m (£30.5m) or 3.4% from $1,513.3m (£909.9m) to $1,564.0m (£940.9m) year-on-year. Same store sales also fared better than the same point in 2013, rising by 4.3% compared to 3.5%.

E-commerce sales were $790m (£475m) compared to $63.9m (£38.4m) in the fourth quarter of 2013, a rise of 23.6%.

Fiscal 2014

In the UK, full year figures from Signet Group’s ‘Fiscal 2014’ report shows that sales were down $23.9m (£14.3m) or 3.4%, from $709.5m (£426.8m) in 2013 to $685.6m (£412.2m) in 2014.

Same store sales increased by 1%, showing improvements from 0.3% in the previous year. In terms of e-commerce, business rose from $28.4m (£17m) to $35.1m (£21.1m), a 23.6% increase.

In the US, total sales were $3,517.6 m (£2,116m), up $243.7 m (£146.6m) or 7.4% compared to the previous year. Same store sales increased by 5.2%, driven by a variety of merchandise in Kay and Jared, as well as the inclusion of Ultra Diamonds for a full year, which added an additional $91.3m (£54.9m) of sales.

For the Signet Group as a whole, total sales were up $225.8m (£135.8m) or 5.7% to $4,209m (£2531.1m) across the fiscal year. Same store sales increased by 4.4% compared to an increase of 3.3% in the prior year, while e-commerce also increased by 2.6% overall to reach $164.1m (£98.7m).

2015 forecast

In 2015, the Group expects first quarter same store sales to increase in the 3-4% margin. Full year capital expenditure is expect to be in the range of $180m to $200m (£108.2 to £120.3m) and include costs relating to the opening of 75-85 new Kay and Jared stores in the US, alongside store remodelling and digital technology infrastructure costs.

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