Kay Jewelers lifts Signet results

Thu May 23, 2013 8:05am EDT

(Reuters) - Signet Jewelers Ltd (SIG.N) reported higher first-quarter sales and profits on Thursday, lifted by brisk business at its mid-priced Kay Jewelers chain at Valentine's Day and leading up to Mother's Day.

Total sales rose 9.4 percent to $993.6 million and same-store sales increased 6.4 percent, including a 10.2 percent jump at Kay, a chain that accounts for about half of sales. Comparable sales at its pricier Jared stores rose 6 percent.

Signet's British chains, which includes H. Samuel and generate almost one-fifth of sales, continued to struggle, with same-store sales down 2.3 percent.

Net income rose to $91.8 million, or $1.13 per share, for the quarter ended April 28, from $82.5 million, or 96 cents per share, a year earlier.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)