Signet Jewelers Ltd. posted an 8.7 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit, as sluggish sales in its U.K. division offset healthy sales gains in its U.S. stores.
Signet said Wednesday that this trend has continued into the current quarter of 2011.
For the fourth-quarter ended Jan. 29, profit totaled $105.4 million, or $1.21 cents a diluted share, compared with year-ago income of $115.5 million, or $1.34 a share. Excluding items, the company said net income was $1.55 a diluted share.
Revenue increased 6.2 percent to $1.27 billion, from $1.20 billion, a year earlier.
Analysts were looking for EPS of $1.54 on sales of $1.27 billion.
Quarterly comparable-store sales rose 8.1 percent, led by an 11.4 percent jump in U.S. comps. Comps in the U.K. declined 2.9 percent.
“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,” said chief executive officer Mike Barnes.
Signet said that in the first seven weeks of the current quarter, U.S. same-store sales are up 11.4 percent, while comps in the U.K. are down 4.6 percent.
For complete coverage, see Thursday’s WWD