Retail jewellery giants Signet reported like-for-likes up 7.2% across the Group despite a slight dip in UK sales in its third quarter results.

Strong US sales, up 9.7% like-for-like, for the 13 weeks to 30 October disguised a small 0.6% drop in the UK.

Total sales rose by 5% to $641.8m but the UK continued to suffer. In the UK, where Signet operates as H Samuel, Ernest Jones and Lesley Davis, sales were down 6.2% on last year, totalling $144.8m.

H Samuel and Ernest Jones’ like-for-likes were similar to the first half, the retailer said. It added that the charm bracelet category “continued to perform well” as did gold rings. In the third quarter, average unit selling price, excluding the charm bracelet category, increased by 10.6%, primarily reflecting the impact of price increases.

Signet chief executive Terry Burman said: “We are delighted with our third quarter results, reflecting the ongoing success of our competitive advantages and strong balance sheet. In particular, the 9.7% US same store sales increase was a very good performance, which drove strong operating leverage and a return to third quarter profitability.

“The economic environment remains challenging for the very important fourth quarter. However, we are confident that we are well prepared to compete in both the US and UK markets”.

New chief executive Mike Barnes, who moves from Fossil, starts on December 1 as chief executive designate. He succeeds Burman in January.