In the US, where Signet does two thirds of its business, comparable store sales advanced 4.9 per cent over the nine-week period. Increased TV advertising and an especially strong performance from Jared stores helped the rise.
In the UK, Ernest Jones managed 3.3 per cent like-for-like growth, but the figure was only 0.2 per cent at H Samuel. Signet chief executive Terry Burman said: 'The group did not participate in the higher level of discounting that was generally evident on both sides of the Atlantic and gross margin was broadly maintained during the period.'
Group sales climbed 5.1 per cent in the 48 weeks to January 1.