Zale is Signet's crowning glory

Shares in Signet Jewelers (SIG) - owner of UK high-street chains H Samuel and Ernest Jones - rose 14 per cent following a strong set of half-year numbers, thanks largely to last year's acquisition of the Zale Corporation. The new Zale division reported a 57 per cent improvement in second-quarter sales to $389m, albeit through an extra 26 trading days compared with the same period last year. This was more than enough to offset a 2.3 per cent sales decline across the UK division, pushing total group sales up 15 per cent to $1.41bn. Encouragingly, like-for-like sales increased by 4.2 per cent at the group level.

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