Signet Jewelers Ltd.’s third-quarter profits shot up fourfold as sales rose and fewer consumers defaulted on their debts to the company.

Net income rose to $26.1 million, or 30 cents a share, from $6 million, or 7 cents, a year earlier. Profits came in 9 cents better than analysts expected.

Sales for the quarter ended Oct. 29 rose 10.7 percent to $710.5 million from $641.8 million as same-store sales advanced 10.6 percent.

Gross margins rose to 32.4 percent of sales from 30.2 percent a year earlier, as the company was better able to leverage occupancy costs and its bad debt to total U.S. sales ratio fell to 5.4 percent from 5.9 percent a year.

In the firm’s U.S. division, which consists primarily of the Kay and Jared chains, same-store sales rose 13.9 percent as average unit selling price increased 12.4 percent to $544, excepting the charm bracelet category.

Shares of Signet slipped 0.3 percent to $43.42 today.

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