Sales at jeweller H Samuel fell 10.5% in the first quarter to $71.7m after the retailer slimmed down its store estate.

Owner Signet reported like-for-like sales at H.Samuel fell 4% in the 13 weeks to May 4 despite a 6.4% increase in like-for-likes at group level.

Signet said: “The total sales decline was due to a same store sales decrease of $3.1m primarily in H.Samuel, the impact of closed stores of $4.8m, and currency fluctuation of $5.6m.”

The group’s Ernest Jones fascia performed stronger than H Samuel. The retailer reported a 0.2% dip in like-for-likes while total sales fell 7.5% to $63.3m.

Overall UK like-for-likes fell 2.3% while total sales dropped 9.1% to $135m.

Across both retailers online sales rose 14.6% to $5.5m.

Signet said: “In Ernest Jones, the number of transactions increased and there was strength in the bridal business and watches excluding Rolex, which is being offered in fewer stores in the UK. 

“In H Samuel, the number of transactions declined, resulting in lower sales across most merchandise categories.”

Signet chief executive Mike Barnes said: “We were very pleased with our results throughout the quarter, including Valentine’s Day and the run up to Mother’s Day. 

“Our strong sales for these time periods were driven through excellence in execution by our associates, customers’ acceptance of our great merchandise offerings, and the continued effectiveness of our iconic advertising initiatives.”