Retail jewellery giant Signet’s UK like-for-likes dropped over Christmas as the snow impacted sales.

UK like-for-likes slumped by 4.2% in the 9 weeks to January 1, where the group operates the H Samuel and Ernest Jones fascias.

Strong US sales, where like-for-likes were up 11.7%, covered the shortfall resulting in a 8.1% increase in like-for-likes across the group.

Signet chief executive Terry Burman said: “The UK was negatively impacted by exceptionally adverse winter weather; however divisional management maintained very good control of gross merchandise margin and costs.”

For the financial year ending January 29, sales were down 1.7% in the UK but up 6.6% across the group. The jeweller said it was “well-positioned” for the next financial year and had a “pipeline of new initiatives”.

New chief executive Mike Barnes, former Fossil chief operating officer, takes over from Burman on January 30, the beginning of Signet’s new financial year.