Signet's CEO Presents At Goldman Sachs 2012 Global Retailing Conference (Transcript)

Call Start: 09:45

Call End: 10:28

Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG)

Goldman Sachs 2012 Global Retailing Conference Transcript

September 6, 2012 9:45 AM ET

Executives

Mike Barnes - Chief Executive Officer

Ron Ristau - Chief Financial Officer

James Grant - Investor Relations

Analysts

William Hutchings - Goldman Sachs

Presentation

William Hutchings - Goldman Sachs

All right. Good morning, everyone. We will try and get back on schedule with our time. My name is William Hutchings. I’m an analyst based in London’s Goldman Sachs. And it’s a great pleasure that I’d like to welcome Signet Jewelers and Mike Barnes, Chief Exec; Ron Ristau, CFO; and James Grant, Investor Relations to the conference. We’re going to plan out just to share opening comments and then we’ll go straight into questions. Thank you very much.

Mike Barnes

Thank you very much. I appreciate that. And thank you all for coming in today. We really appreciate the opportunity to talk about our story a little bit. We feel like we have a great business model and that we’re in the early innings of a great expansion of our business for the long run.

Signet is a company better known as Kay, Every kiss begins with Kay and Jared, He went to Jared. So, I’m sure you’re familiar with the brands that we have. We also have a lot of great merchandise brands within those two store concepts and we look forward to the future and how we can expand and grow our business to the benefit of our shareholders.

So we really appreciate you coming here and we look forward to taking your questions today. The opportunities are really endless for us that we see. So, with that, we’ll keep it short, because we know we don’t have a lot of time and we’ll throw it out for questions to you guys.

William Hutchings - Goldman Sachs

Yeah. So for those of you who are on day two of this conference, we just get through the standard questions that we’re asking every company. So, first of all, what are your expectations for the latter half of the year and if you can comment, obviously, if you went to on 2013 and how it’s looking for you from where we are today?

Mike Barnes

Thank you very much. I appreciate the fact that you think that we’re all economist out here. But, no, seriously, we had a great first half of the year. We just announced our second quarter a while back and we had the strong comp stores sales in the U.S. and relatively speaking in the U.K. where we had positive comps in that market in a very, very tough environment.

Our business continues to get better overtime. I think the back half of the year is promising. We can’t control whether it’s going to happen in the macro environment, but we feel like we’re very well-positioned to meet our objectives for the back half of the year.

We had a lot of merchandise that we tested in the front half of the year that actually tested very, very well for us and we’re doing a lot of rollouts in the back half of the year into both Kay and Jared, with some of these brand extensions.

If you look at a brand like Neil Lane, Neil Lane has been a fantastic fairly new store Bridal range for us and has performed excellently. We have now tested it and expanded it into the design area, into the fashion area, the test went extremely well. And we’re going to roll it into all Kay and Jared stores for the back half of the year. So that’s going to be a fantastic, new brand for us going in.

Tolkowsky Diamond, which has done very, very well for us, it is the strong, new diamond range that we have and it is being expanded into another 250 stores to create a 550-door expansion back half of the year. We have a new collection called the family collection for Jane Seymour Open Hearts. That’s also being expanded, as well as several other merchandise initiatives.

So, we feel pretty good about the back half of the year and how we’re positioned and I think we’re setup well. As far as looking into next year, we’re always looking to the future and looking at what the newest trends are and the newest designs. That’s what we do. We’re the leader in our industry. We intend to remain there and so we’re working on some new initiatives that will take us into next year and beyond.

William Hutchings - Goldman Sachs

Thank you, Mike. And then one is pretty more relevant one up here as your capital allocation strategy clearly gone through a period of significant deleverage of your balance sheet over the last few years. Now what would be the outlet for CapEx plan repayment of dividend?

Ron Ristau

Well, our capital spending plans this year remained very strong. We’re going to spend between $155 million to $165 million. We’re focusing that money on new stores. We’ll be opening up approximately 53 new stores this year in the U.S -- 51 in the U.S., two in the U.K.

We are spending lot of money on our continue remodel since we have the number one jewelry store, we believe that our store should always have a excellent customer experience. So we continue to stay on a very aggressive remodel program so over 100 stores to be remodeled.

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