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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Signet 2011 Sales Up 5%

Mike Barnes, Signet CEO
Signet Jewelers Ltd., the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler, said Wednesday that same store sales rose 6.7 percent for fiscal 2011, ended Jan. 29. Total sales for the year rose 5 percent to $3.4 billion.

Income before taxes for the year increased 30.3 percent to $300.4 million. Adjusted income before taxes rose 51 percent to $347.9 million.

The Bermuda-based, New York Stock Exchange-listed company operates approximately 1,857 specialty retail jewelry stores in the U.S. and the U.K. Sales for its U.S. business (which accounts for nearly 80 percent of total revenues) increased 8 percent for the year to $2.74 billion, with same-store sales up nearly 9 percent.

In the U.K., it was a different story as sales fell 5.5 percent to less than $693.2 million, the company said. Same store sales fell 1.4 percent for the year.

“Fiscal 2011 was an outstanding year for Signet, said Mike Barnes, Signet CEO. “We believe that Signet is well positioned to gain profitable market share and improve operating margins as a result of our competitive strengths in the bridal category, the further development of brands that differentiate us from our competitors, our long term focus on best in class customer service, and traffic generating marketing campaigns that leverage our leading share of voice.”

This was Barnes first earnings report statement as Signet CEO. The former executive with accessories company Fossil took the helm at Signet at the end of January, following the retirement of Terry Burman, who headed the company for 10 years.

Fiscal 2012 is off to a strong start, particularly in the U.S., the company said. Same store sales in the first seven weeks are up by 8.5 percent, compared with the comparable period last year. The U.S. division increased by 11.4 percent and the U.K. division was down by 4.6 percent.

Signet operates approximately 1,317 stores in the U.S., where its store brands include Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry and a number of regional names. Signet also operated 540 stores in the U.K., where its store brands are H.Samuel, Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis.

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