Group comparable sales up 4.2%
Specialist jewellery retailer Signet - which trades under brands H Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK - revealed group like-for-like sales rose 4.2 per cent to£754.6 million for the 14 weeks to February 3.

The group results were adversely affected by US sales - accounting for about 75 per cent of revenue - which were hit by a timing difference on Valentine's Day promotions.

At the UK division, H Samuel's like-for-like sales increased 2.2 per cent and Ernest Jones' rose 0.5 per cent.

Signet group chief executive Terry Burman said the UK had made 'satisfactory progress' in the fourth quarter, while full-year like-for-like sales were up 1.1 per cent in what was a 'challenging retail environment'.

Group like-for-like sales rose 5.4 per cent, with total sales at£1.75 billion for the year ending January 28. Operating profit was£208.2 million and pre-tax profit£200.4 million for the full year.

At the UK division, which has a 17 per cent share of the£3.2 billion UK jewellery market, full-year sales were£469.6 million and operating profit£49.1 million.

Signet is the world's biggest specialist jewellery retailer. It has 1,307 US shops and 581 in the UK.