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Signet Group's Sales Fall

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London Signet Jewelers Ltd., the parent of Kay Jewelers and Jared chains, said Thursday its same-store sales declined 15.2% for the quarter ending Jan. 3.

The company said it plans to cut expenses, pay down debt and focus on managing inventory in its coming fiscal year. In a move to preserve capital amid the weak economy and tight credit market, it won't pay a dividend.

Signet said it is in advanced talks with lenders to renegotiate certain terms of its borrowing agreements, which will likely reduce the size of its credit facilities and adjust interest and fee rates.

The company said same-store sales fell 16.4% over the 13 weeks ended Jan. 3 in the United States, which makes up 75% of total sales, and declined 10.9% in the United Kingdom, which makes up 25% of Signet's total revenue.

Total sales during the period declined 19.4%.

For the 48 weeks ended Jan. 3, same-store sales declined 8.1%, and total sales declined 8.3%.

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