H Samuel owner trading well in the US
Signet, owner of high street jewellery chains H Samuel and Ernest Jones, unveiled bleak UK trading figures this morning against a backdrop of positive US sales.

UK like-for-like sales fell 7.8 per cent during the 26 weeks to July 30 and total sales decreased by 7.1 per cent to£183.3 million.

Signet chief executive Terry Burman said: 'A strong performance in our US division, which accounts for 70 per cent of group sales, compensated for the decline in UK results. In common with other retailers, the UK business experienced very difficult trading conditions throughout the period.'

The group revealed like-for-like sales for the period increased by 3.3 per cent, with pre-tax profit up 6 per cent at constant exchange rates, to£52.1 million.