Jewellery retailer bucks the trend, but US sales dip
Jewellery giant Signet has bucked current retailing trends, with like-for-like sales growth in both the UK and US markets for the year to January 29. Fourth-quarter figures also rose, but at a slower pace.

Total UK sales increased, but US sales were static. In the 52 weeks to January 29, US sales reached£1.1 billion, a dip of 0.4 per cent. UK sales reached£514.5 million, an increase of 2.7 per cent on the previous year.

For the 13 weeks to January 29, US sales dipped 0.1 per cent to£439 million. UK sales rose 1.8 per cent compared with the previous year, to£215 million.

Signet's results emerge against the background of a cooling trading climate throughout the winter.

Signet Group chief executive Terry Burman said: 'The group had a strong year, with [combined] like-for-like sales up 5.0 per cent - building further on its consistent record of growth. The UK business increased like-for-like sales by 1.4 per cent in the fourth quarter, despite many demanding comparatives and a difficult retail environment.'

Signet trades in the UK under the H Samuel and Ernest Jones brands. The retailer's US business trades under Kay Jewelers, Jared and a number of regional brands. It operates 1,758 stores, with 1,156 sites in the US and 602 in the UK.