Signet, the parent company of Ernest Jones and H.Samuel, delivered a 2.3% like-for-like jump at its UK division in its third quarter.

The performance was driven by prestige and fashion watches. However, total sales slipped 4.7% to $140.6m in the 13 weeks to October 2.

Signet revealed the UK business will have shrunk 3.4% by the year end, operating 317 H.Samuel and 190 Ernest Jones stores, down from the beginning of the year when it had 337 H. Samuel stores and 198 Ernest Jones stores.

The group, including its US business, recorded a 1.4% like-for-like sales increase, while total sales edged up 0.8% to $716.2m.

Signet chief executive Mike Barnes said Superstorm Sandy, which hit the US at the begining of the month, had impacted trading.

“The storm created some initial disruption and November thus far has been challenging,” he said. “With the majority of sales ahead of us, we are well-prepared for the holiday season with exciting new merchandise, terrific marketing, and our talented well-trained sales associates ready to provide customers a great shopping experience.