H Samuel and Ernest Jones owner Signet has reported a 7.1% increase in like-for-like sales fuelled by a strong UK performance in the second quarter.

Signet’s sales rose 8.4% to $110.9m as same store sales at Kay in the US rose 12.5% and Ernest Jones recorded a significant uplift in the 13 weeks to July 28.

Ernest Jones sales rose 4.4% on a like-for-like basis while total sales rose 0.1% to $73.3m in the second quarter.

Performance at H.Samuel was weaker with like-for-likes rising 0.1% but total sales falling 3.3% to $78.7m.

Same store sales in the third quarter are expected to be “in the low to mid-single digit range”, the company said.

Signet chief executive Mike Barnes said: “We delivered strong second quarter results driven by a 12.5% increase in same store sales at Kay and positive same store sales in the UK.  This combined with expansion in operating margin drove a double digit increase in earnings per share.

“As we begin the second half of the year, we remain focused on delivering an exceptional customer experience with exciting merchandise programs, new enhanced marketing programs, and further development of our digital sales capabilities; as always, driven by our talented team. We believe these strengths leave us well positioned to deliver our objectives for the year.”