Signet finds some high street sparkle
Thursday 18 April 1996
Announcing tripled profits of pounds 25m for last year, Signet chairman Jim McAdam said he sensed more consumer optimism on the high street. "There is a bit more confidence around than there was but is very early days and it is not clear if can be sustained."
He said the two UK businesses were "only for sale at the right price" and though he declined to put a deadline on the sale, analysts expected a deal within a few weeks. A shortlist of bidders drawn up last week will be sent more detailed information on the companies.
The most eye-catching performance came from the group's more upmarket Ernest Jones chain, which the rival Goldsmiths group is interested in acquiring. Boosted by a pounds 4m refurbishment programme, like-for-like sales in the 167 stores increased by 4 per cent last year and by 24 per cent in the 10 weeks since the beginning of February.
The mass market H Samuel chain, which is thought to be coveted by Argos, had a tough time with comparative sales down by 3 per cent. The company is planning to test a new look in 15 stores in the summer with the view to extending it to all 429 shops if successful.
The American division, Sterling, increased profits by almost 40 per cent to pounds 46m.
The City has marked the shares up by 200 per cent since the start of the year. They closed 1p higher yesterday at 30.25p.
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford plane crash: Star Wars actor 'seriously injured' after his vintage light aircraft crash lands in golf course in Los Angeles
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
iJobs Money & Business
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...
£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...