Friday, May 9, 2008

Zale Q3 Sales Increase 6.3%

Dallas—Same-store sales at Zale Corp. increased 5.8 percent for the third quarter ended April 30, and revenues for the period increased 6.3 percent to $477 million, compared with $449 million for the same period last year, the company announced today.These amounts, both current and comparable, exclude revenues from the Bailey Banks and Biddle stores, which Zale sold to Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp. on Nov. 9, 2007.Year-to-date same-store sales decreased 2.3 percent, and year-to-date revenues decreased 2.4 percent to $1.68 billion, compared with $1.72 billion for the same period last year.

Unrecognized revenues related to warranty sales increased $17 million for the third quarter and $64 million year-to-date. These increases reflect the incremental cash collected and the future positive impact to earnings as a result of the change to the company's lifetime jewelry-protection plans.

"We have a focused agenda to improve execution, and these sales results reflect the early success of our plan," Zale Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Neal Goldberg said in a media release issued on Thursday. "Sales were fueled primarily by an aggressive clearance strategy that exceeded our expectations with $55 million of inventory liquidated in the third quarter. This clearance strategy is critical for us to achieve our goal of becoming clearer in our product offering and more effective in differentiating the good, better, best value proposition."

According to Goldberg, Zale will further reduce its inventory by $100 plus million using the same aggressive promotional activity.

Zale is a specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North America operating approximately 2,200 retail locations throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as online. Zale's brands include Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Gordon's Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda.

Zale will announce its third quarter earnings on May 22.

For additional information on Zale Corp., visit its Web site,

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