H Samuel owner jewellery group Signet posted a 6% jump in full-year operating profit to $42.4m (£25.5m) in the UK after a strong fourth quarter.

Like-for-likes at the UK division, which also includes Ernest Jones, edged up 1% over the year to February 1 but 5.7% in its fourth quarter, which included Christmas.

The retailer said the fourth quarter performance was driven by the growth in bridal and fashion diamond jewellery, and prestige watches.

H Samuel like-for-likes advanced 3.6% while Ernest Jones’ jumped 8.5% in the final quarter. Over the year, H Samuel like-for-likes dipped 0.3% while Ernest Jones grew 2.6% and online sales rose 23.6% to $35.1m (£21.1m).

Total sales dipped 3.4% to $685.6m (£412.2m) as the retailer closed 20 stores over the year. Operating margin for the UK division increased by 60 basis points to 6.2%.

Signet chief executive Mike Barnes said: “We are pleased with our progress in the current quarter to date and expect to achieve our goals for the first quarter.  Our priorities remain focused on delivering an outstanding experience to all our customers. 

“We will continue to execute on our multichannel growth initiatives and expand our store base. Our increase in the quarterly dividend demonstrates our belief in the strength of the business and our commitment to increase value for our shareholders.”