Signet Celebrates Sterling Holiday; U.S. Execs Move Up

January 12, 2006

Signet Celebrates Sterling Holiday; U.S. Execs Move Up

Sterling Jewelers Inc., the U.S. division of United Kingdom-based Signet Group, saw comparable-store sales rise 5.5% and total sales jump to 10.5% for the nine-week holiday sales period in 2005 as compared to 2004. Sterling Jewelers, Akron, OH, operates Kay Jewelers and Jared, The Galleria of Jewelry stores and several other regional names. The Sterling division outperformed and fueled growth for its U.K. parent.

"Kay made further progress enhancing its position as the No. 1 specialty retail jewelry brand in the U.S.," said Terry Burman, Signet CEO. "Jared, the off-mall destination superstores, continued to trade particularly well. The divisional [U.S.] operating profit is anticipated to be comfortably ahead for the year as a whole."

Signet's total comparable-store sales for the holiday period increased 1.1% over the same period in 2004.

Sterling also announced Mark Light is now CEO of Sterling Jewelers. Light retains his present responsibilities as president and was appointed to Signet's board of directors. In addition, William Montalto Sr. was appointed COO. Montalto retains his current responsibilities as executive vice president of marketing, advertising, customer relations, MIS, distribution and credit operations and will assume added responsibilities in real estate and store planning. He will remain involved in strategy development across the U.S. business.

Burman, who had served as CEO of the U.S. division, will remain executive chairman of the board of Sterling.

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