Signet Jewelers posts narrower loss in 3rd quarter

AP News
Posted: Nov 24, 2009 1:58 PM

Signet Jewelers Ltd., the parent of Kay Jewelers and other retail chains, said Tuesday it posted a smaller third-quarter loss as the jeweler cut costs and gained market share.

For the period ended Oct. 31, the company posted a loss of $7 million, or 8 cents per share, compared to a loss of $15.1 million, or 18 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue declined to $613.7 million from $629.3 million, as sales at locations open more than a year _ an important retail metric _ declined 1.9 percent.

Selling, general and administrative expenses declined to $197.3 million from $217.3 million.

In the U.S., which makes up 80 percent of total sales, revenue declined 1.7 percent to $459.3 million. Sales at stores open more than a year decreased by 2.4 percent.

"Results for the quarter were significantly better than last year reflecting expansion of profitable market share, as well as the continued tight control of costs and gross merchandise margin," CEO Terry Burman said in a statement.

Signet added it expects to reduce net debt $300 million to $350 million this year, above its prior target of $175 million to $225 million.

Shares of the Bermuda-based chain declined 86 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $26.02 in afternoon trading.