UPDATE 1-Signet Jewelers' U.S. holiday same-store sales rise
Jan 8 (Reuters) - Signet Jewelers Ltd reported brisk holiday season sales at both of its major U.S. chains, the mid-priced Kay Jewelers and the higher end Jared stores, and said business has remained good since the end of the Christmas period.
Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 4.7 percent during the holiday season. At Kay, where Signet gets half its sales, they rose 5.8 percent, overcoming a dent in sales early in the period because of Hurricane Sandy.
At Jared, sales rose 4.8 percent, after declining last quarter, suggesting more affluent shoppers have not pulled back on their consumption despite concerns they would.
But in Britain, where Signet gets one-sixth of its revenues, same-store sales again deteriorated over the holidays, after showing improvement last quarter. Same-store sales at its H.Samuel and Ernest Jones chains fell a combined 2.6 percent.
Chief Executive Mike Barnes said, however, that business has "improved" in Britain after the holidays.
Signet, whose share of the U.S. jewelry market is 10.4 percent according to a report by IBISWorld last month, making it almost as big as rivals Zale Corp and Tiffany & Co put together, raised the lower end of its holiday quarter profit forecast range by 10 cents per share.
The company, which gets about half of its annual profit from the holiday season, now expects a profit of $2.05 to $2.10.
Zale and Tiffany will report their holiday sales on Thursday.
Signet shares were up 2.1 percent in premarket trading, and up 3.2 percent in London.