Signet Jewelers unveils rise in holiday season sales

Retail giant Signet Jeweler was feeling jolly about its holiday season trading results Tuesday as the company unveiled a modest increase in store sales in the face of a tough UK market.

Retail giant Signet Jeweler was feeling jolly about its holiday season trading results Tuesday as the company unveiled a modest increase in store sales in the face of a tough UK market.

The speciality jeweller, which has stores in the UK and US, said sales totalled $1,237.6m for the nine weeks leading to December 29th.

Same store sales were up 3.3% for the period, compared to the 7.8% the same time in the previous year.

"We are pleased with our holiday season performance in both sales and margins," Mike Barnes, Chief Executive Officer, said.

"We believe our strong performance was due to exceptional execution by our teams. I would like to thank them all very much for their dedication and hard work."

Trading was driven by strong results from the US unit which raked in total sales of $1,034.2m, an 9.9% increase compared to an increase of 9.2% the previous year.

The company's newly acquired Ultra Stores also helped boost revenues with total sales of $37m.

However, sales were down in the UK division as retailers reported underwhelming results.

The UK unit's total sales were $203.4m, down 5% compared to an increase of 0.9% the year before. Same store sales dropped 2.6%, following the previous year's 1.8% increase.

Christmas trading for UK retailers last year was slower with a 1.5% rise in spending last month, compared to a 4.1% rise in 2011, according to data from trade body the British Retail Consortium Retail Sales Monitor.

The sector was saved from online shopping, with sales rising by 17.8%.

Signet's shares were up 9.17% to 3,620.00p at 14:40 Tuesday following the group's trading announcment.

RD

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