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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Signet Q1 Same Store Sales, Total Sales Up 10%

Signet Jewelers, the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler, reported strong sales results for the first quarter of FY 2012 led by a 10.2 percent increase in same store sales, compared to a rise of 5.8 percent for the first quarter of the prior year. Total sales for the period, ended April 30, also rose 10.2 percent to $887.3 million.

Operating income for the Bermuda-based company, which operates jewelry retail chains in the U.S. and U.K., improved by 310 basis points to 13.4 percent. As a result, income before income taxes and diluted earnings per share rose to $117.8 million, compared with $74.1 million during the prior fiscal year.  

“We are very pleased with our strong start to the year, leading to record results for the first quarter. Our performance was led by our U.S. division, with the U.K. division continuing to operate well in a challenging economy,” said Mike Barnes, Signet Jewellers CEO  “The strong sales momentum has continued into the start of the second quarter ... We remain well positioned to continue to increase sales productivity and achieve our financial objectives for this year.”

In the U.S., which accounted for 83.2 percent of total company sales for the period, sales increased 11.4 percent to $738 million. Same store sales rose 12.5 percent for the period. Signet operates 1,314 in the U.S., under the brands Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry and a number of regional brands.

At Kay Jewelers, the company’s largest retail chain operation and the largest retail jewelry operation in the U.S., sales rose 13.4 percent to $435.4 million with same store sales up 13.9 percent. The average selling price was $360, a year-over increase of 11.8 percent. At Jared, total sales rose 12.7 percent to $227.8 million. Same store sales increased 11.8 percent for the period. The average selling price per unit for the period was $798, a 7.7 percent increase compared to the prior year.

In the U.K., which accounted for 16.8 percent of total company sales for the period, sales rose 4.5 percent to $149.3 million, mostly due to the strength of the British pound over the U.S. dollar. When the exchange rates were removed sales fell for the period by 1.3 percent. Same store sales rose 0.2 percent. Signet operates 538 stores in the U.K. under the brands H.Samuel, Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis.
 
On May 24, Signet, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, entered into a $400 million senior unsecured multi-currency, five-year revolving credit facility agreement that will be used for working capital requirements and general corporate purposes. The new loan replaces an existing $300 million credit account entered in June 2008, which was due to expire in June 2013.

Signet operates approximately 1,852 specialty retail jewelry stores.

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