Ernest Jones owner Signet has recorded a dip in total sales at its UK division during its second quarter after being hit by currency exchange rates.

  • UK sales fell 2.3% in the second quarter
  • At constant exchange rates UK sales grew 6.4%
  • Sales driven by strong results in diamond jewellery and watches

Total sales for the quarter ending August 1 fell 2.3% to $159.1m (£103m) in the UK division of the US-based jewellery group despite an increase in like-for-like sales.

At constant exchange rates Signet’s UK division, which includes Ernest Jones and H Samuel, delivered a 6.4% increase in sales as like-for-likes jumped 5.1%.

Overall the group has reported total global sales increased 15.1% at actual exchange rates to $1.41bn (£915m).

The increase in same-store sales and total sales in the UK was driven “primarily by strong results in diamond jewellery and watches”.

The average transaction price and number of transactions for the division increased 4.3% and 1.8% respectively.

Operating income in the UK division hit $3.2m (£2.07m), or 2.0% of sales, during the quarter, compared to $1.1m (£714,000), or 0.7% of sales in the same quarter last year.

Signet Jewelers chief executive Mark Light said: “Results were driven by strong and consistent sales growth across all of our selling channels, as well as solid profitability and disciplined cost management across our organisation.

“The integration of Zale continues to go well, and we have begun to see the benefit of net synergies positively impact our operating results.”