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Signet predicts fall in diamond sales

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Virginia “Gina” C. Drosos is CEO of Signet Jewelers, the world's largest retailer of diamond jewellery (File photograph)
Joan Hilson, chief financial officer and chief strategy officer of Signet Jewelers, the world's largest retailer of diamond jewellery (File photograph)

A global decline in the sale of jewellery is predicted this year by the world's largest retailer of diamond jewellery, even though it is forecasting its sales will grow by double digits.

Signet Jewelers Limited reported from its Hamilton office total sales of more than $7.8 billion for fiscal 2023, slightly up on 2022.

Chief executive Virginia C. Drosos said: “We delivered on our three key priorities of growing market share, achieving an annual double-digit non-GAAP operating margin, and leveraging capital allocation to drive shareholder returns despite headwinds and volatility throughout the year.”

She said: "As we turn to FY24, we are confident in the sustainable competitive advantages we've built and our ability to leverage our enhanced infrastructure and scale to grow ahead of the jewellery industry."

Chief financial, strategy and services officer Joan Hilson added: “Our Fiscal 2024 guidance reflects confidence in our ability to deliver an annual double-digit non-GAAP operating margin despite a jewellery retail environment that we estimate will decline mid-single digits through the year.

"Consistent with our stated capital allocation priorities to drive shareholder returns, we have prioritised up to $200 million in capital investments, increased our quarterly common dividend to $0.23 per share as part of our commitment as a dividend growth company, and increased our share buyback programme by $263 million, bringing the total remaining authorisation to approximately $775 million."

The company reported total fourth quarter sales of $2.7 billion, down $145.1 million or 5.2 per cent to increased sales in FY22, resulting in part from government benefit programmes and the company's strategic transformation, including marketing initiatives, but up $512.9 million or 23.8 per cent compared with the same period in FY20.

In addition, the latest year’s fourth quarter was negatively impacted by weather in the US in the peak selling period before Christmas, as well as labour strikes and the impact of the weakened British pound in the UK.

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Published March 20, 2023 at 7:25 am (Updated March 20, 2023 at 7:25 am)

Signet predicts fall in diamond sales

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