London Signet Jewelers, the parent company of Kay Jewelers and other retail chains, on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter loss due to a hefty goodwill impairment charge.
The London-based company, which has struggled as consumers have curbed their discretionary spending amid the recession, also said it would not pay a dividend given current economic conditions. The move comes as Signet looks to cut U.S. expenses by $100 million between 2009 and 2010 and pay down debt by about $200 million next year.
For the fourth quarter, Signet reported a loss of $424 million, compared with a profit of $143 million in the same quarter a year earlier. The latest quarter included a $516.9 million goodwill impairment charge.
Sales for the period ended Jan. 31 fell 19% to $1.12 billion, from $1.38 billion.
For the full year, Signet lost $393.7 million, compared with earnings of $219.8 million in the prior year. Adjusted profit in the latest fiscal year was $133.7 million.
Annual revenue slipped 9% to $3.34 billion from $3.67 billion, partly due to the stronger dollar, while same-store sales dropped 8.2%.