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Signet 1st quarter net income up

NEW YORK (AP) -- Signet Jewelers Ltd. said Thursday that its first-quarter net income rose 11 percent on strong performance at its U.S. Kay Jewelers and Jared retail stores.

Net income for the three months ended May 4 rose to $91.8 million, or $1.13 per share. That compares with $82.5 million, or 96 cents per share a year ago. Analysts expected earnings of $1.11 per share.

The Bermuda-based company's revenue rose 10 percent to $993.6 million from $900 million a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $1.02 billion.

CEO Mike Barnes said results were driven by strong results in the U.S., with revenue in stores open at least one year rising 10.2 percent at Kay and 6 percent at Jared.

In total, the figure rose 6.4 percent. The measure is considered a key metric of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.

Online sales rose 41 percent to $31.1 million. U.S. revenue rose 14 percent to $858.6 million, while U.K. revenue fell 9 percent to $135 million, hurt by weak performance at H. Samuel stores, store closings and the stronger dollar.

The company said the shift of Mother's Day sales partly into the first quarter will hurt second quarter results somewhat. Its acquisition of Ultra Stores will also hurt second quarter results, but those stores are expected to boost performance by the fourth quarter.

For the second quarter Signet expects net income of 79 cents to 84 cents per share, or 85 cents to 90 cents per share excluding one-time costs related to its Ultra acquisition. Analysts expect 87 cents per share.

Its shares rose 12 cents to $71.75 in premarket trading.