Signet reports sales lift despite 'weaker demand'

Jewellery retailer Signet has seen a boost in sales at its UK chains, despite sluggish performance in the US.

Like-for-like sales in the 13 weeks to May 2 increased by 6.6 per cent at the upmarket Ernest Jones chain, and by 4.5 per cent at H Samuel in the UK.

Group chief executive Terry Burman said US like-for-likes increased by 1.1 per cent. He said: 'Although the timing of Easter and the war in Iraq have made the subsequent pattern of trading difficult to interpret, there has been some evidence of weaker consumer demand.'

UK sales have again benefited from its focus on diamond jewellery, added Burman.