Signet will focus on investing in its UK store portfolio and close some underperforming stores as the jewellery giant’s sales begin to improve.
The retailer, which runs H Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK, said same store sales in this country fell 2.4% and total sales declined 9.3% to $733.2m (£492.2m) in the year to January 30. UK operating profit fell 21% to $56.5m (£37.9m).
Chief executive Terry Burman said Signet plans to relocate or refurbish 23 stores in the present financial year and will redecorate 85 branches. It only refreshed a handful of stores last year.
The retailer will also close between 10 and 15 underperforming stores, mostly H Samuel shops.
Burman said: “We have done well considering the environment and need to focus on product and profitably growing market share.”
He added that although Signet’s UK arm now has more “value-led” lines than in the past, its average price point has increased. Charm bracelets and luxury watches were particularly good sellers last year.
At group level Signet, which does most of its business in the US, reported underlying pre-tax profit up 13.7% to $228.4m (£153.3m) for the year, and total sales down 1.6% to $3.29bn (£2.21bn). Fourth quarter sales rose 7.1% to $1.2bn (£795.9m) and underlying pre-tax profit rose 21.4% to $174m (£116.8m).
Citi analyst Ben Spruntulis said the peak trading and first quarter performance was underpinned by “market share gains, quality product, the right promotional strategy and best-in-class management”.
He added that Citi’s US like-for-like forecast of 4% could still prove conservative given the “potential for further US market shares gains”.