March 27 Signet Jewelers Ltd,
the owner of the Kay Jewelers chain, on Thursday forecast more
growth in same-store sales this new fiscal year, helped by its
push into branded, exclusive jewelry.
Shares rose nearly 4 percent. Signet, which last month said
it had reached a deal to buy smaller rival Zale Corp,
expects sales at stores open at least a year to rise between 3
percent and 4 percent this new fiscal year.
For the quarter ended February 1, Signet's U.S. same-store
sales rose 4 percent, helped by higher sales in brand-name,
exclusive jewelry at its Kay chain.
At Signet's British chains, H. Samuel and Ernest Jones,
which generate about one-sixth of revenue, business perked up
and same-store sales rose 5.7 percent.
Signet reported net income of $175.2 million or $2.18 per
share for the quarter, which included the holiday season,
compared to a profit $171.8 million, or $2.12 per share last
year. Total sales rose 3.4 percent to $1.56 billion.
Signet raised its quarterly dividend 20 percent to 18 cents
(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Nick