Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG)
Q1 2022 Earnings Call
Jun 10, 2021, 8:30 a.m. ET
- Prepared Remarks
- Questions and Answers
- Call Participants
Good morning and welcome to the Signet Jewelers first-quarter fiscal 2022 earnings call. All participants will be in listen-only mode. [Operator instructions] After today’s presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Please note this event is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to Vinnie Sinisi, senior vice president, investor relations and treasury. Please go ahead.
Vinnie Sinisi — Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Treasury
Great. Thanks very much, Jason, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our first-quarter earnings conference call. On the call today are Signet’s CEO, Gina Drosos; and CFO, Joan Hilson.
During today’s presentation, we’ll make certain forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical facts are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. We urge you to read risk factors, cautionary language, and other disclosures in our annual report on 10-K, quarterly report on 10-Q, and current reports on 8-K. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to revise or publicly update forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.
During the call, we’ll discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. For further discussion of the non-GAAP measures, as well as reconciliations of them to the most directly comparable GAAP measures, investors should review the news release we posted on our website at www.signetjewelers.com/investors. And with that, I’ll turn the call over to Gina.
Gina Drosos — Chief Executive Officer
Thank you, Vinnie. And thanks to all of you who are on the call with us today. I also want to thank our Signet team members who continue to inspire me with their relentless dedication to our customers and to each other. We are embracing new capabilities in connected commerce with excellence as evidenced in this quarter’s results.
Thanks to our team, we built on the momentum of a very strong holiday performance and delivered both a strong Valentine’s Day and strong Mother’s Day by continuing to serve customers whenever, wherever, and however they choose to shop with us. Further to this, we are unlocking our team members’ potential. We know from listening and from our ongoing surveys that our team members are inspired by our purpose. They’re proud to be part of our organization and they’re confident in the tightly integrated strategies that are guiding our growth.
Our team members’ inspiration, pride, confidence, expertise, and growing digital capabilities are the most important drivers of my confidence in our long-term success. It is an honor to work at their side. As I reviewed Signet’s performance in Q1, I want to leave you with three messages. Number one, we outperformed Q1 expectations and are raising our fiscal ’22 guidance today.
Number two, we’re making steady progress in all four of our where to play strategic focus areas and all three of our how to win core strengths: consumer-inspired insights, connected commerce presence, and our culture of innovation and agility. We are continuing to expand these strengths because we know they are sources of competitive advantage. We’re outpacing market growth. And as a result, we’re growing share.
I’ll talk through each of these points but first, let’s look high level at the Q1 numbers. Total sales were $1.7 billion, an increase of more than $250 million, or 18%, compared to Q1 two years ago. This is significant because two years ago, we had 467 more stores than we have today. E-commerce is playing an increasingly important role with sales up more than 110% in the quarter versus last year and 124% versus two years ago.
Cash flow from operating activities of $161 million year to date was up $169 million compared to last year and $56 million compared to two years ago. Having already paid down debt and with $1.3 billion of cash at quarter-end, we are continuing to invest in growing our business and, as Joan will discuss, returning cash to shareholders. Ending inventory was $2 billion, $373 million lower than last year. Our inventory reduction efforts are now institutionalized, less about rationalization and more about optimizing our merchandise mix and availability, getting…