Revenues increased by 6.6% at Signet Group’s UK watch and jewellery chains in the first quarter of its financial year.
For the period of 13 weeks to May 2, sales rose 8.6% at the more upmarket Ernest Jones, almost double the rate of H.Samuel which saw revenue increase by 4.8%.
The strength of the US dollar in which Signet Group reports its financial results resulted in a net fall in revenue for the UK business to $146.5 million.
H.Samuel is still the larger of the two chains, with Q1 sales of $74.8 million from its 302 stores. Ernest Jones revenue was $71.7 million from 196 stores.
But if growth at Ernest Jones outpaces H.Samuel at the same rate as in the first quarter, it will overtake it this year despite having one-third fewer stores.
The increase in same store sales as well as total sales at constant exchange rates in the UK was driven primarily by branded bridal as well as fashion diamond jewellery and fashion watches, Signet Group reported.
The number of transactions rose by 2.6% and average transaction price increased by 3.6%.
The average merchandise transaction value increased in both H.Samuel and Ernest Jones primarily driven by increases in diamond sales. The number of merchandise transactions increased in both H.Samuel and Ernest Jones due to strong performance in diamond, fashion jewellery and watch sales, Signet concluded.