Information  X 
Enter a valid email address

Signet Group PLC (SIG)

  Print      Mail a friend       Annual reports

Thursday 02 November, 2000

Signet Group PLC

Like for Like Sales Growth

Signet Group PLC
2 November 2000


SIGNET ANNOUNCES STRONG LIKE FOR LIKE SALES GROWTH IN THIRD QUARTER, UP 8.0%

Signet  Group plc (LSE: SIG and Nasdaq NMS: SIGY), the world's largest
speciality  retail jeweller today announced its sales  for  the  third quarter
ended 28 October 2000.

SALES PERFORMANCE

13 WEEKS TO 28 OCTOBER 2000

Group  sales  in the quarter increased by 30.0% to £263.2 million  (13 weeks
to  30  October 1999: £202.4 million).   Like  for  like  sales increased by
8.0% (see (a) below).  The breakdown was as follows:

                      Sales                   Change on Previous
                                                   Year
                 £m        % of Total      Total     Like for Like
US          181.4         68.9         +41.1% (b)    +6.4% (a)
UK          81.8          31.1         +10.8%        +10.9% (c)
GROUP       263.2         100.0        +30.0% (d)    +8.0% (a)

(a) Marks & Morgan stores acquired on 31 July 2000 are excluded from the like
for like comparisons.
(b) US total sales include £17.1 million from Marks & Morgan; at constant
exchange rates US total sales increased by 25.2%.
(c) H. Samuel like for like +6.9% and Ernest Jones like for like +18.9%.
(d) At constant exchange rates Group total sales increased by 20.3%.

39 WEEKS TO 28 OCTOBER 2000

Group  sales in the 39 weeks to 28 October 2000 increased by 21.5%  to £788.9
million  (39 weeks to 30 October 1999: £649.4 million).   Like for  like sales
increased by 9.4% (see (e) below).  The breakdown  was as follows:

                      Sales                 Change on Previous
                                                 Year
                 £m       % of Total     Total       Like for
                                                       Like
US          554.3        70.3         + 27.5% (f)  +9.6% (e)
UK          234.6        29.7         +9.3%        +9.1% (g)
GROUP       788.9        100.0        +21.5% (h)   +9.4% (e)

(a) Marks & Morgan stores acquired on 31 July 2000 are excluded from the like
for like comparisons.
(b) US total sales include £17.1 million from Marks & Morgan; at constant
exchange rates US total sales increased by 19.7%.
(c) H. Samuel like for like +5.6% and Ernest Jones like for like +15.9%.
(h)  At  constant  exchange rates the Group total sales  increased  by 16.4%.

COMMENT

Terry  Burman, Group Chief Executive, commented 'In the third  quarter Group
like for like sales increased by 8.0%.  The US core business had a  like  for
like sales increase of 6.4%. We remain pleased  with  the Marks  &  Morgan
acquisition, which we completed on 31 July.  Although
our integration process negatively impacted sales for this business in August
and September, the process was completed ahead of schedule  and October  like
for like sales were only modestly behind last year.  The US division's planned
advertising and merchandising programmes  should benefit Marks & Morgan in the
fourth quarter.  The UK had an excellent third  quarter  with a like for like
sales increase of  10.9%  despite more   demanding  comparatives.   Both  H.
Samuel  and  Ernest  Jones performed well.
Overall,  the Group has had a very good nine months on both  sides  of the
Atlantic with like for like sales up by 9.4%. We are well prepared for the
Christmas season'.
Signet  operates  1,581  speciality retail  jewellery  stores.   These include
975  stores  in  the  US, where  the  Group  trades  as  'Kay Jewelers',
'Jared - The Galleria of Jewelry' and under  a  number  of regional names.
Signet operates 606 stores in the UK, under  the  'H. Samuel', 'Ernest Jones'
and 'Leslie Davis' names.

Enquiries:-
Terry Burman, Group Chief Executive       +44 (0) 20 7399 9520
Walker Boyd, Group Finance Director
Susan Gilchrist, Brunswick                +44 (0) 20 7404 5959
Rupert Young, Brunswick

This  release  includes certain forward-looking  information  that  is based
upon management's belief as well as on assumptions made by  and data
currently available to management.  This information, which  has been,  or  in
the future may be, included in reliance  on  the  'safe harbour' provisions in
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, is subject to a number
of risks and uncertainties, including but not  limited to the factors
identified in the Company's Annual  Report and  Form  20-F  and  other
documents filed with  the  Securities  and Exchange Commission.  Actual
results may differ materially from  those anticipated  in such forward-looking
statements even if experience  or future  changes make it clear that any
projected results expressed  or implied  therein  may  not  be realised.  The
Company  undertakes  no obligation  to  update  or  revise any forward-looking
statements  to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.