Higher price-point items have given a lifeline to Signet Jewelers this year while items carrying a lower price tag have not sold as well as usual for the retailer.

The jeweller’s global sales in the first quarter of the year hit $1.8 billion (£1.44 billion), up $149.5 million (£120 million) or 8.9% on Q1 of 2021.

International (mostly UK) sales accounted for only $110 million (£88 million) of the group’s total, however this figure was up a massive 91.6% year-on-year.

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Virginia C Drosos, chief executive officer, said: “Signet’s strong performance this quarter reflects our team’s successful execution and agility amidst retail headwinds.

“We generated nearly 9% topline growth, including 2.6% organic sales growth, enabled by our healthy inventory position, connected commerce capabilities and data-driven marketing.

“Customers responded to the breadth and newness within our assortment, particularly higher price-point offerings, diamonds and precious metals.

“Our scale, strong balance sheet, and diversified banner portfolio provide flexibility to navigate macro-level uncertainties, deliver consistent annual double-digit operating margin, and continue investing in differentiated capabilities to widen our competitive advantages.”

Joan Hilson, chief financial and strategy officer, said: “We are reaffirming our annual guidance and expanding our share repurchase authorisation by $500 million.

“While we anticipated and experienced softening within lower price-points resulting from heightened inflation and the lack of stimulus, we delivered offsets through tailored assortments, digital capabilities and enhanced services to maintain higher average transaction values.

“At this time, we continue to focus on the factors under our control and leverage our competitive advantages as we navigate the impact of this macro-economic environment on consumer behaviour.

“We believe that the strategies, agility and discipline of our team will enable us to continue to drive long-term value for our shareholders.”

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