H Samuel and Ernest Jones owner Signet recorded a jump in first-quarter sales after its UK arm delivered a strong life-for-like increase.

Signet like-for-like sales increased 3.6% for the quarter ending May 2, while UK like-for-likes increased 6.2% during the period.

The average transaction value in the UK increased in both H Samuel and Ernest Jones primarily driven by increases in diamond sales.

However, total sales in the UK decreased 3.4%, which it said was caused “entirely by the unfavourable impact of foreign currency exchange”.

US-based Signet’s total sales increased 44.9% to $1.53bn (£1m) during the period after the acquisition of Zale added $437.1m (£286.3m) of sales in the first quarter.

Signet chief executive Mark Light said: “Each of our divisions had impressive same-store sales increases, led by our UK division.

“We continue to see favourable progress of our integration of the Zale division. As we implement new operating initiatives and deploy incremental capital resources, the Zale division has begun, as expected, to grow its same store sales faster than Signet overall.

“We expect this trend to continue, and we remain well-positioned to meet our goal of $150m (£98m) to $175m (£114.7m) in cumulative three-year operating profit synergies by the end of January 2018.”