Signet’s UK division, which comprises H Samuel and Ernest Jones, posted total sales up 17% to $162.9m (£98.3m) in its second quarter.

The jewellery group revealed the UK business generated a 4.4% like-for-like sales jump in the 13 weeks to August 2.

H Samuel, which has 304 UK stores, posted like-for-likes up 2.6% and total sales up 12.7% to $81.8m (£49.3m). Ernest Jones, which trades from 189 UK stores, posted a 6.4% like-for-like increase with total sales soaring 22% to $81.1m (£48.9m).

Signet said sales advances in the UK were due to a focus on growing diamond sales and the popularity of watches, although this hit Signet’s organic gross margin rate.

UK online sales in the period soared 61% to $9.5m (£5.7m).

Signet’s group like-for-likes increased 4.8% in the period and total sales surged 39.3%

Signet chief executive Mike Barnes said: “We delivered a very strong second quarter with increases of 6.3% in organic same store sales and 19.0% in organic Earnings Per Share. Positive momentum at our UK division continued with our best quarterly same store sales increase in seven years, at 4.4%, and our best operating margin in five years.”