Signet secures sales boost in Q4 despite ‘challenging year’

Signet, one of the world’s largest retailers of diamond jewellery, has confirmed a rise in sales for the last 12-month period amid ‘challenging’ market conditions.

The jeweller has announced its results for the 14 weeks and 53 weeks ended February 3, 2018, with total sales of $2.3 (£1.63) billion.

The company attributed the total sales increase to the extra 14th retail-calendar week of sales, worth $84.3m (£60m), as well as the addition of R2Net, which was acquired in September last year and contributed $64.4m (£45m) in sales in the quarter.

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While sales for Q4 saw a marginal increase, the company confirmed that total sales for fiscal 2018 were $6.3 (£4.5) billion, down $155.4m (£111m) compared to fiscal 2017. The total sales fall was a result of a year-over-year decline in base same store sales.

Same stores sales in Ernest Jones and H Samuel were down by 5.6% and 6.5% respectively.

Total sales for H Samuel were $306.7m (£219m), down $122.3m (£87m) compared to last year, and Ernest Jones saw a dip of $111.6m (£79m) to $310m (£221m).

“Fiscal 2018 was a challenging year for Signet,” said Signet Jeweller’s chief executive officer, Virginia Drosos.

“We gained sales momentum in our Zales banner in the fourth quarter as our strategic initiatives began to take hold, but we experienced challenges at our Kay and Jared banners, including execution issues related to the first phase of our credit outsourcing transaction.”

Alongside its financial report, Signet has reported it is launching a three-year comprehensive transformation plan to reposition the company to be a share gaining, omnichannel jewellery category leader.

The three-year plan includes cost efficiencies, a portion of which will be reinvested in growth initiatives including ecommerce growth, omnichannel capabilities and innovation in product assortment and the store experience.

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