Sales in the UK at Jewellery group Signet fell 0.2% on a like-for-like basis in its first quarter to May 1, as the election tool its toll on consumer confidence.

Total sales in the UK grew 3.8% for the period to $142.9m (£98.6m) and its US parent said that the environment was “more challenging than in the US”, where sales grew 7.2%on a comparable basis.

It said uncertainty related to the general election has a “detrimental impact” on consumer confidence.

Its H Samuel store sales were lower than last year whilst its Ernest Jones fascia had a better quarter, with the charm bracelet category a continuing best seller.

In the first quarter the average selling price in the UK rose 11.3% excluding the charm bracelet category in Ernest Jones.

Gross margin declined by 100 basis points with an increase in the cost of gold, higher tax rates and the impact of the weaker pound.