Like-for-like sales at jewelers H.Samuel and Ernest Jones fell over Christmas.

Owner Signet’s UK like-for-likes fell sales 2.6% in the nine weeks to December 29 with Ernest Jones like-for-likes dropping 5.5%.

H.Samuel experienced a like-for-like sales fall of 0.5% over the period.

In the 48 weeks to December 29, UK like-for-likes edged down 0.3%.

Total group like-for-likes rose 3.3% in the nine weeks and 3.2% over the 48 weeks driven by a strong Christmas in the US.

Signet chief executive Mike Barnes said: “We are pleased with our holiday season performance in both sales and margins. Like-for-like sales were up 3.3%, led by the US division up 4.7%.

“We saw particularly strong performance in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas. Business trends continue to be encouraging in the US and have improved in the UK after the holiday season.”