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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 04-01-00 , 01:11 PM


Tuesday March 28, 6:03 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Signet
Preliminary Results Year Ended 29 January 2000
Highlights
Record profits for Signet
- Group profit before tax: 127.7m pounds (1998/99: 89.2m pounds) up 43%
- Group sales: 1,136.5m pounds +15% (1998/99: 991.2m pounds), like for like up 9%
- Earnings per share: 5.3p (1998/99: 3.9p) up 36%
- Proposed final dividend: 1.2p (1998/99: 1.0p) up 20%
- Appointment of Terry Burman as Group Chief Executive
LONDON, March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Commenting, James McAdam, Chairman, said:

``We are delighted to have achieved a year of record profits. The expanding US business again outperformed its main competition recording a fifth year of significant profits growth. The UK also posted a substantial increase in results in what was a very challenging year for much of the retail sector. The Group is now in excellent shape and the Board is confident that the operating strategies in place on both sides of the Atlantic provide a sound basis for further growth.

``I am extremely pleased that Terry Burman is taking over as Chief Executive at this time. We have worked closely together for almost five years and I have no doubt that he is the right man to lead the Group through the next phase of its development. I wish him every success.''

Terry Burman, newly appointed Group Chief Executive, said:

``I am grateful to the Board for their vote of confidence in appointing me Group CEO. James McAdam has built an excellent record of consistent improvement and superior results. I look forward to working with my executive colleagues in responding to the opportunity to building the business further.''

Signet, the world's largest specialist jewellery retailer operates 1,433 stores. These include 827 stores in the US, where the Group trades as ``Kay Jewellers,'' ``Jared -- The Galleria of Jewelry'' and under a number of regional names and 606 stores in the UK, where the Group trades as ``H. Samuel'', ``Ernest Jones'' and ``Leslie Davis''.

Preliminary Results Statement

Results

The Group had a very successful year and is delighted to report record sales and profits. In the 52 weeks to 29 January 2000 profit before tax rose by 43.2% to 127.7 million pounds (1998/99: 89.2 million pounds) with earnings per share of 5.3p (1998/99: 3.9p). Sales advanced by 14.7% to 1,136.5 million pounds (1998/99: #991.2 million), the like for like increase being 9.1%.

Group operating profit rose by 36.0% to 139.1 million pounds (1998/99: 102.3 million pounds), reflecting an operating margin of 12.2% (1998/99: 10.3%). The return on capital employed was 24.1% (1998/99: 19.5%).

The US business, which accounts for over two thirds of Group sales, continued to demonstrate its underlying strengths with a further industry leading performance, building on its consistent record of growth in recent years. The expansion program continues; 10% was added to selling space during the year comprising 41 new mall stores (offset by 15 store closures) and 13 new Jared off-mall superstores.

The UK Jewellery division also produced a significant increase in results in what was a very challenging year for the retail sector in general. Following a difficult first quarter, business gradually picked up during the year as the trading environment improved and a series of operational initiatives began to bear fruit. Sales over the important Christmas period were particularly strong, helped by a marked resurgence of consumer confidence in the jewellery sector and by the Millennium factor.

Dividends

Against the background of a good year the Board is pleased to recommend a final dividend of 1.2p per share (1998/99:1.0p). This will be in addition to the interim dividend of 0.25p per share declared in September making a total dividend for the year of 1.45p per share (1998/99:1.0p).

Management

The Board is also pleased to announce, with immediate effect, the appointment of Terry Burman as Chief Executive of Signet Group plc. Terry Burman has been Chief Executive of the Group's US business since 1995 and will retain this role in addition to his new appointment.

In order to ensure a smooth transition to Terry Burman of executive responsibility, James McAdam will remain as Executive Chairman until 31 March 2001 from which date the Board has asked him to continue for a period as Chairman in a non-executive capacity.

Prospects

The Group has now achieved five years of consistent and significant profits growth. The improvement in trading performance has transformed the financial standing of the Group and generated the resources necessary to finance the present strategy. In the last two years alone 139.5 million pounds has been invested in the fixed and working capital needs of the business. At the same time the Group has funded 20.9 million pounds of dividends and reduced net debt by 66.3 million pounds. By 29 January 2000 gearing had fallen to 20%. The present strength of the balance sheet should not only enable the Group to fund existing investment plans but also allow it to consider any opportunities that might arise from further consolidation of the jewellery industry. The Board is confident that the progress made in recent years, together with the strategies in place on both sides of the Atlantic, provides a sound basis for further growth.

Current Trading

The Group has experienced a favorable start to the year, helped by strong sales over the Valentine Day period in both the US and the UK. Sales performance for the first quarter of the year will be announced in the first week of May.

Operating Reviews

US (67% of sales)

The US business maintained its strong performance and again outperformed its main quoted competitors on a range of key operating measures including like for like sales growth. Sales per store increased to an average of over $1.5 million (1998/99: $1.3 million). Details of the performance are set out below:

1999/00 1998/99 Change Like for

like change

m pounds m pounds % %


Sales 759.8 637.2 +19.2(a) +11.3

Operating profit 103.1 77.5 +33.0 --
Operating margin % 13.6 12.2 -- --
ROCE % 24.9 20.4 -- --

(a) At constant exchange rates US total sales increased by 16.4%.


Total space was some 10% greater with 827 stores in total at 29 January 2000, comprising 545 Kay stores, 254 regional stores and 28 Jared stores (30 January 1999: 788 stores comprising 524 Kay stores, 249 regional stores and 15 Jared stores). The Jared concept continues to perform ahead of expectations and 13 new stores were added during the year. In the year 29 Kay stores and 12 regional stores were opened with 57 mall stores refurbished or relocated and 15 mall stores closed in the normal course of business.

The careful testing of new products, the development of product ranges, and the aggressive roll out of proven winners was again very successful. This helped the division achieve a lower inventory to sales ratio than any of its quoted competitors. The diamond range was further improved with bridal and large solitaire rings, solitaire earrings, bezel set earrings and pendants, as well as bracelets, being particularly successful. Gross margins were maintained at last year's level.

Spending on advertising and marketing increased by 15%. There was a further switch to television and radio advertising and away from catalogues, with television impressions increasing by 50% and radio impressions by 20%. Retargeting of advertising to peak selling periods again worked well and helped drive the fourth quarter like for like sales increase of 12.7%.

Kay's web site continues to be developed with additional product information, downloadable promotions and a credit application facility being new features which are essential to the development of a site for future e-commerce transactions. The strength of the Kay brand name and its national store coverage would provide the division with a competitive advantage in any future e-commerce activity.

In the US the strategy is to enhance the existing business by building on its competitive advantages in merchandising, marketing and store operations, to take advantage of relocation and refurbishment opportunities and to increase the store portfolio by opening further mall stores and rolling out the successful Jared off mall concept. A further increase of about 10% in selling space is planned for 2000/01, comprising an additional 40 new mall stores (offset by 15 store closures) and up to an additional 15 Jared stores. Target markets have been identified which would bring the potential for the Jared concept to over 200 stores, with total sales of over $1 billion.

UK (33% of sales)

The UK Jewellery division achieved excellent results helped by the surge in consumer confidence in the fourth quarter and by operational initiatives implemented in the year. Gross margins were above last year's level. Details of the performance are set out below:

1999/00 1998/99 Change Like for
like change
m pounds m pounds % %
Sales
H. Samuel 245.4 237.9 +3.2 +2.1
Ernest Jones 125.7 109.4 +14.9 +11.0
Other 5.6 6.7 -- --
Total 376.7 354.0 +6.4 +4.9
Operating profit 39.3 32.4 +21.3 --
Operating margin % 10.4 9.1 -- --
ROCE % 25.9 21.6 -- --


The division performed particularly well in the fourth quarter with a like for like sales increase of 11.7% (H. Samuel +7.2% and Ernest Jones +21.6%).

During the year greater focus was placed on the core diamond product category and this was reflected in significant sales increases in both H. Samuel and Ernest Jones. Improvements in the product range and updated window displays also contributed to the better performance in this product area. Watch sales were buoyant, particularly the new fashion watch brands and the higher value items in the Ernest Jones range. Greater emphasis was given in both chains to improving product displays and in-store presentational standards. These operational improvements were backed by a strengthening of the supply chain logistics as well as an improved marketing and promotional program that benefited from the increased interaction with the US business.

Customer service standards were further improved and continue to be a priority. Clear objectives have been set and revised training programs are in place with the aim of further improving product knowledge, service and selling skills. In H. Samuel regional, area and training structures have been strengthened to provide greater depth of field support. The success of the drive to simplify field operating procedures within stores is resulting in more time now being spent by store staff attending to customers rather than on administrative tasks. A better focused incentive program has also been introduced.

The year saw further investment in the store portfolio, particularly in Ernest Jones where 40 store refurbishments were carried out. Seven H. Samuel and four Ernest Jones new store openings took place during the year. At 29 January 2000 there were 606 stores in total (427 H. Samuel stores and 179 Ernest Jones stores).

The web sites for both H. Samuel and Ernest Jones were further improved and expanded. The division is actively assessing current developments in e-commerce and digital television marketing.

H. Samuel is a high volume business with a relatively low transaction value. It is positioned in the heart of the mass market and is already well represented nationwide. The strategy is therefore to leverage the strong market position of the business by making existing space work harder. This will be done by intensifying the present drive to improve customer service and by continuing to increase the participation of products such as diamonds, gemstones and fashion watches in the range.

For Ernest Jones there are greater opportunities to expand space and to develop further the Leslie Davis name. Both Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis are well positioned to capitalise on the trend towards more aspirational products, particularly in the diamond and watch categories.

The UK division has significantly increased its presence in the insurance loss replacement business, serving a growing list of leading insurance companies and their clients. This business is a key strategic opportunity, particularly for Ernest Jones. A strengthening of management and systems support is underway to further facilitate the growth of this business.

Financial Review

EBITDA

The US achieved an EBITDA of #118.7 million (1998/99: 92.7 million pounds) and the UK 51.3 million pounds (1998/99: 45.0 million pounds) before charging Group central costs of 3.3 million pounds (1998/99: 7.6 million pounds). EBITDA to sales ratios increased to 15.6% in the US (1998/99: 14.6%) and to 13.6% in the UK (1998/99: 12.7%).

Return on capital employed

The Group's ROCE increased to 24.1% (1998/99: 19.5%) -- US 24.9% (1998/99: 20.4%); UK 25.9% (1998/99: 21.6%). US capital employed includes the in-house credit card debtors amounting to 220.1 million pounds at 29 January 2000 (30 January 1999: 194.0 million pounds).

Depreciation and capital expenditure

Depreciation charges were 27.8 million pounds (1998/99: 27.6 million pounds) -- 15.6 million pounds in the US (1998/99: 14.9 million pounds) and 12.2 million pounds in the UK (1998/99: 12.7 million pounds). Capital expenditure in the US was 27.4 million pounds (1998/99: 16.5 million pounds) and in the UK was 11.9 million pounds (1998/99: 14.4 million pounds).

Group costs

Group central costs were #3.3 million (1998/99: 7.6 million pounds). In 1999/00 the figure includes a gain on the disposal of properties of 2.1 million pounds. The figure for 1998/99 included a charge of 2.1 million pounds as a result of an increase in property provisions, largely offset by a gain on disposal of properties of 1.9 million pounds.

Net interest payable and similar charges

Net interest payable and similar charges amounted to 11.4 million pounds (1998/99: 13.1 million pounds), a reduction of 13.0%. This reflected the lower level of net debt carried by the Group.

Taxation

The tax charge of 38.3 million pounds (1998/99: 24.0 million pounds) reflects the benefit of US tax losses brought forward and used against US taxable profits. The tax losses were fully utilized during 1999/00 and this was a major factor in the increase in the effective tax rate to 30.0% from 26.9%.

Summary of Fourth Quarter Results

1999/00 1998/99 Like for
like change
m pounds m pounds %
Sales
UK 161.9 143.9 11.7
US 325.2 268.0 12.7
487.1 411.9 12.3
Operating profit
UK - Trading 39.2 32.8 --
- Group central costs (1.0) (4.2)
38.2 28.6 --
US 63.8 49.5 --
Total operating profit 102.0 78.1 --
Interest (2.8) (2.9) --
Profit before tax 99.2 75.2 --
Taxation (30.0) (20.3) --
Profit for the period 69.2 54.9 --

EPS - both basic and diluted 4.1p 3.3p --


Liquidity and capital resources

Net debt at 29 January 2000 was #91.6 million, a reduction of 19.9 million pounds in the year (30 January 1999: 111.5 million pounds). Group gearing (that is the ratio of net debt to shareholders' funds) at the year-end was 20% (30 January 1999: 29%). Excluding the US securitization facility of 118.2 million pounds (1998/99: 116.8 million pounds), the Group had net cash of 26.6 million pounds at 29 January 2000 (30 January 1999: 5.3 million pounds).

Operating activities generated 121.5 million pounds (1998/99: 102.6 million pounds) reflecting an increase in EBITDA offset by investment in working capital primarily due to the increase in the number of stores. Cash flow before investing activities was #78.2 million (1998/99: 71.4 million pounds).

The Group spent 39.3 million pounds and 30.9 million pounds on construction and refurbishment of stores, systems improvements and other capital expenditures during 1999/00 and 1998/99 respectively. Disposal proceeds were 3.0 million pounds (1998/99: 5.3 million pounds).

Equity dividend payments amounted to 20.9 million pounds (1998/99: pounds nil).

The Board of Directors approved this statement of preliminary results on 28 March 2000.

This release includes certain forward-looking information that is based upon management's belief as well as on assumptions made by and data currently available to management. This information, which has been, or in the future may be, included in reliance on the ``safe harbor'' provisions in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to the factors identified in the Company's 20-F and other documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein may not be realized. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

March 28 Conference Call

To access Signet Group's conference call in the US, please call 303-267-1000, Confirmation Code: Signet/Walker Boyd, 10 minutes in advance of the presentation. Replay will be available instantly for 24 hours. Dial 303-804-1855, Access Code 686 269.

The conference call will start at 10:00 a.m. EST (07:00 a.m. Pacific Time)

Consolidated profit and loss account
for the 52 weeks ended 29 January 2000

52 weeks ended 52 weeks ended
29 January 2000 30 January 1999 Notes

pounds m pounds m

Sales 1,136.5 991.2 2
Cost of sales (952.3) (843.5)
Gross profit 184.2 147.7
Administrative expenses (45.1) (45.4)
Operating profit 139.1 102.3 2
Net interest payable
and similar charges (11.4) (13.1)
Profit on ordinary activities
before taxation 127.7 89.2
Tax on profit on
ordinary activities (38.3) (24.0) 4
Profit for the
financial period 89.4 65.2
Dividends (24.4) (16.7) 5
Retained profit attributable
to equity shareholders 65.0 48.5
Earnings per 0.5p ordinary
shares - basic and diluted 5.3p 3.9p 6

All of the above relates to continuing activities

Consolidated balance sheet
at 29 January 2000

29 January 30 January
2000 1999 Notes
pounds m pounds m

Fixed assets
Tangible assets 137.5 126.1

Current assets
Stocks 368.3 330.3
Debtors (see note below) 270.0 244.5
Short term investments -- 0.6
Cash at bank and in hand 91.3 65.2
729.6 640.6
Creditors: amounts
falling within one year (253.3) (209.6)

Net current assets
(see note below) 476.3 431.0

Total assets less
current liabilities 613.8 557.1
Creditors: amounts falling
after more than one year (147.7) (156.1)
Provisions for liabilities
and charges
Deferred taxation (3.1) --
Other provisions (8.5) (15.2)

Total net assets 454.5 385.8

Capital reserves - Equity
Called up share capital 8.5 8.5
Share premium account 36.3 34.0
Revaluation reserve 0.9 0.9
Special reserves 96.6 90.7
Profit and loss account 312.2 251.7

Shareholder's funds 454.5 385.8 7

Note: Debtors and net current assets include amounts recoverable after
more than one year of 19.1 million pounds (1999: 23.3 million
pounds).

Consolidated statement of total recognised gains and losses

52 weeks ended 52 weeks ended
29 January 2000 30 January 1999
pounds m pounds m

Profit for the financial period 89.4 65.2
Translation differences 8.4 0.6
Total recognised gains and losses
relating to the period 97.8 65.8

Consolidated cash flow statement
for the 52 weeks ended 29 January 2000

52 weeks ended 52 weeks ended
29 January 2000 30 January 1999 Notes

pounds m pounds m
Net cash inflow from
operating activities 121.5 102.6 8

Returns on investments
and servicing of finance:
Interest received 3.1 1.5
Interest paid (14.6) (14.9)

Net cash outflow from
returns on investments and
servicing of finance (11.5) (13.4)

Taxation (31.8) (17.8)

Capital expenditure
and financial investment:
Purchase of tangible
fixed assets (39.3) (30.9)
Proceeds from sale of
tangible fixed assets 3.0 5.3

Net cash outflow for
capital expenditure and
financial investment (36.3) (25.6)

Equity dividends paid (20.9) --

Cash inflow before use of
liquid resources and financing 21.0 45.8

Management of liquid resources:
Increase in bank deposits (46.5) (39.7)

Financing:
Proceeds from issue of shares 0.4 --
Issue of loan notes -- 36.6
Increase in/(repayment of)
bank loans 13.5 (65.2)
Cash inflow/(outflow)
from financing 13.9 (28.6)
Decrease in cash in the period (11.6) (22.5)

Reconciliation of net cash flow to movement in net debt

Decrease in cash in the period (11.6) (22.5)
Cash (inflow)/outflow from
decrease in debt (13.5) 28.6
Cash outflow from increase
in liquid resources 46.5 39.7
Change in net debt resulting
from cashflows 21.4 45.8
Translation difference (1.5) 0.6
Movement in net debt
in the period 19.9 46.4
Opening net debt (111.5) (157.9)
Closing net debt (91.6) (111.5)

Notes


1. Basis of preparation

This financial information has been prepared in accordance with applicable UK accounting standards and under the UK historical cost convention as modified by the revaluation of freehold and long leasehold properties. It is prepared on the basis of the accounting policies as set out in the Accounts for the 52 weeks ended 30 January 1999.

This financial information complies with FRS 15 - Tangible Fixed Assets and FRS 16 - Current Tax.

2. Segmental information
2000 1999
pounds m pounds m
Sales by origin and destination:
UK 376.7 354.0
US 759.8 637.2
1,136.5 991.2

Operating profit
UK - Trading 39.3 32.4
UK - Group Central Costs
(see note (a) below) (3.3) (7.6)
36.0 24.8
US 103.1 77.5
139.1 102.3

Net assets (see note (b) below):
UK 95.6 97.0
US 450.5 400.3
Net debt (91.6) (111.5)
454.5 385.8

Notes
(a) Group central costs for 2000 are partially offset by profits of
2.1 million pounds from property disposals. The figure for 1999
includes a charge of 2.1 million pounds as a result of an increase
in property provisions,largely offset by a gain on disposal of
properties of 1.9 million pounds.

(b) The net assets of the two geographical segments are stated after
the elimination of attributablegoodwill acquired before the
adoption of FRS 10. Net debt has been excluded from both segments.

(c) The figures for the UK include the United Kingdom, Channel Islands
and Republic of Ireland.

The Group's results derive from one business segment - the retailing of
jewellery, watches and gifts.

3. Foreign currency translation

2000 1999
The exchange rates used for
translation of US dollar
transactions and balances in
these Accounts as follows:
Profit and loss account
(average rate) 1.62 1.66
Balance sheet (year end rate) 1.62 1.64

The effect of translation on foreign currency borrowings less deposits in
the period was to increase the Group's net borrowings by
1.5 million pounds (1999: 0.6 million pounds decrease). The net effect of
exchange movements on foreign currency investments (excluding goodwill)
and foreign currency borrowings less deposits in the period was a gain of
3.3 million pounds (1999: 0.6 million pounds gain). This amount has been
taken to reserves in accordance with SSAP 20.

4. Taxation
2000 1999
pounds m pounds m
Taxes on profit:
UK corporation tax payable 7.3 10.5
US taxes 23.6 17.2
Deferred taxation:
UK (0.2) (0.7)
US 7.6 (3.0)
38.3 24.0

5. Dividends
2000 1999
pounds m pounds m

Interim dividend paid of
0.25p per share (1999: nil) 4.2 -
Final dividend proposed of
1.2p per share (1999: 1.0p) 20.2 16.7
24.4 16.7

The interim dividend was paid on 12 November 1999. The proposed dividend
is to be paid on 1 July 2000 to shareholders on the register of members on
5 June 2000.

6. Earnings per share
2000 1999
pounds m pounds m
Profit for the
financial period 89.4 65.2

2000 1999
Basic weighted average
number of ordinary
shares in issue (m) 1,675.8 1,674.8
Dilutive effect of
share options (m) 17.5 7.2
Diluted weighted average
number of ordinary
shares (m) 1,693.3 1,682.0
Earnings per 0.5p
ordinary share - basic 5.3p 3.9p
Earnings per 0.5p
ordinary share - diluted 5.3p 3.9p


7. Consolidated shareholders' funds

Ordinary Deferred Share Revaluation
share capital share capital premium reserve
account
pounds m pounds m pounds m pounds m

Balance at 30
January 1999 8.4 0.1 34.0 0.9
Retained profit
attributable to
equity shareholders -- -- -- --
Exercise of share options -- -- 0.4 --
Shares issued to QUEST(1) -- -- 1.9 --
Transfer(2) -- -- -- --
Translation differences -- -- -- --
Balance at
29 January 2000 8.4 0.1 36.3 0.9


Special Profit and Total
reserves loss account
pounds m pounds m pounds m

Balance at 30 January 1999 90.7 251.7 385.8
Retained profit attributable
to equity shareholders -- 65.0 65.0
Exercise of share options -- -- 0.4
Shares issued to QUEST(1) -- (1.9) --
Transfer(2) 11.0 (11.0) --
Translation differences (5.1) 8.4 3.3
Balance at
29 January 2000 96.6 312.2 454.5


(1) In October 1999 the Group established a Qualifying Employee Share Trust (``QUEST'') which acquired 3,850,614 ordinary shares of 0.5p each at a price of 50.75p per share.
(2) The transfer between profit and loss account and special reserve represents dividends paid to the holding company by subsidiaries out of profits earned prior to the 1997 capital reduction.
Notes

8. Notes to the consolidated cash flow statement

a. Reconciliation of operating profit to operating cash flows

2000 1999
pounds m pounds m

Operating profit 139.1 102.3
Depreciation charges 27.8 27.6
Write down of short term
investments -- 0.3
Profit on sale of fixed assets (2.1) (1.6)
Increase in stocks (31.7) (24.7)
Increase in debtors (27.2) (19.0)
Decrease in short term
investments 0.6 -
Increase in creditors 21.7 11.6
(Decrease)/increase in
other provisions (6.7) 6.1
Net cash inflow from
operating activities 121.5 102.6

b. Analysis of net debt

At 30 Jan Exchange Other At 29 Jan
1999 Cash flow movement movement 2000
pounds m pounds m pounds m pounds m pounds m

Cash in hand
and at bank 22.2 (20.6) 0.2 -- 1.8
Bank
overdrafts (22.3) 9.0 (0.2) -- (13.5)
(0.1) (11.6) -- -- (11.7)
Debt due after
more than
one year (153.3) (12.1) (1.4) 23.3 (143.5)
Debt due
within
one year (1.1) (1.4) (0.1) (23.3) (25.9)
Bank deposits 43.0 46.5 - - 89.5
(111.4) 33.0 (1.5) - (79.9)
Total (111.5) 21.4 (1.5) - (91.6)

9. Accounts


The financial information set out above does not constitute the Company's statutory accounts for the 52 weeks ended 29 January 2000 or the 52 weeks ended 30 January 1999 but is derived from those accounts. Statutory accounts for the 52 weeks ended 30 January 1999 have been delivered to the registrar of companies, whereas those for the 52 weeks ended 29 January 2000 will be delivered following the Company's annual general meeting. The auditors have reported under Section 235 of the Companies Act 1985 on those accounts for each of those periods; their reports were unqualified and did not contain a statement under Section 237 (2) or (3) of that Act.

Reconciliation of UK GAAP to US GAAP

Details of the appropriate effect on the Group's consolidated profit for the financial period and shareholders' funds of differences between UK GAAP and US GAAP are as follows:

Estimated effect on profit for the financial period of differences between
UK and US GAAP
52 weeks ended 52 weeks ended
29 January 2000 30 January 1999
pounds m pounds m

Profit for the
financial period in
accordance with UK GAAP 89.4 65.2
US GAAP adjustments:
Goodwill amortization
and write offs (12.2) (12.0)
Sale and leaseback
transactions 0.8 (1.0)
Revaluation of properties -- 0.8
Extended service plan revenues (0.2) (2.2)
Pensions 2.5 1.6
Depreciation of properties 0.1 (0.1)
Lease cost adjustment -- 3.2
Stock compensation (5.4) (0.6)
US GAAP adjustments
before taxation (14.4) (10.3)
Taxation (3.6) 0.6
Goodwill adjustment (7.1) (5.9)
US GAAP adjustments
after taxation (25.1) (15.6)
Retained profit attributable
to ordinary shareholders in
accordance with US GAAP 64.3 49.6
Earnings per ADS in
accordance with
US GAAP - basic 115.0p 88.9p
Earnings per ADS in
accordance with
US GAAP - diluted 113.8p 88.7p
Weighted average number of
ADSs outstanding
(millions) - basic 55.9 55.8
Weighted average number of
ADSs outstanding
(millions) - diluted 56.4 56.0

Estimated effect on shareholders' funds of differences between UK and
US GAAP
29 January 2000 30 January 1999
pounds m pounds m

Shareholders' funds in
accordance with UK GAAP 454.5 385.8
US GAAP adjustments:
Goodwill in respect of
acquisitions (gross) 535.2 530.2
Consideration adjustment
to goodwill (44.9) (44.4)
Accumulated goodwill
amortization (139.6) (126.3)
Goodwill adjustment (21.5) (14.2)
Sale and leaseback
transactions (11.9) (12.7)
Extended service plan revenues (7.0) (6.7)
Pensions 5.4 2.9
Depreciation of properties (3.0) (3.1)
Revaluation of properties (0.9) (0.9)
Dividends 20.2 16.7
US GAAP adjustments
before taxation 332.0 341.5
Taxation 4.7 8.3
US GAAP adjustments
after taxation 336.7 349.8
Shareholders' funds in
accordance with US GAAP 791.2 735.6

SOURCE: Signet

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