Signet reports ongoing UK sales growth, up 3.7%

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Figures from Q3 fiscal 2015 reveal sales increases at Ernest Jones.

Signet Jewelers has announced its Q3 fiscal 2015 financial results, with UK operations delivering a 3.7% increase in same-store sales and its best UK operating results in four years.

The results for the 13 weeks to November 1 2014 revealed total group sales – covering the UK, US and Canada – of $1.18 billion (£748m), up $406.5 million (£258m) or 52.7% compared to its Q3 fiscal 2014 results.

The increase was primarily driven by the addition of the Zale division in the US, which added $331.4 million (£210m) of sales to Signet’s Q3 results.

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Its UK sales figures totalled $151 million (£95.9m), of which H Samuel sales totalled $76.9 million (£48.8m) and Ernest Jones sales $74.1 million (£47m). H Samuel total sales grew 5.2% in Q3, while Ernest Jones sales climbed 11.9%.

Signet reports that its UK sales increases were driven primarily by strategic initiatives to grow diamond sales, as well as strong sales of watches.

The number of transactions in the UK decreased 2.9% driven by a volume decline in H Samuel. Average transaction price in the division increased 6.3% driven by mix.

Signet total e-commerce sales hit $44.8 million (£28.4m) in Q3 compared to $22.8 million (£14.5m) recorded in the same period last year. In percentage terms, its e-commerce sales climbed 96.5%, also due principally to the addition of Zale.

Signet’s chief executive officer Mark Light described the figures as positive, stating: "We delivered a solid third quarter highlighted by continued strength in same-store sales, which rose 4.2%. Positive momentum in our UK division continued with our highest third quarter increase in same store sales, at 3.7%, in seven years and our best operating result in four years. We believe our UK division [is] well-prepared to deliver for the holiday season."

As an ongoing concern, Signet is continuing to focus on managing its diamond supply chain with the announcement that it has entered into a rough diamond supply contract in Botswana with De Beers, the world’s leading rough diamond producer.

Light said of the move: "The De Beers Sight advances our strategic diamond sourcing efforts to the next level. Following last year’s purchase of a diamond cutting factory in Botswana, we believe, as a Sightholder, that we are now far ahead of most industry peers. This provides us greater access to supply in a growing supply-and-demand gap."
 

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