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Jewelry retailer Zale Corporation Q2 com sales rise 1.4%

Feb '06
North America's largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry, Zale Corporation reported that for the second quarter ended January 31, 2006, comparable store sales increased 1.4 percent.

Comparable store sales exclude the results of the 29 Bailey Banks & Biddle stores previously announced as designated for closure that were managed by an independent liquidator during the period.

Total revenues for the period, also excluding the store closures, were $978 million compared to $952 million last year, an increase of 2.7 percent.

Total revenues for the period, including the store closures, were $993 million compared to last year's revenues of $972 million for the period, an increase of 2.2 percent.

Year-to-date total revenues, excluding the store closures, increased 2.2 percent to $1.397 billion, compared to $1.366 billion for the same period last year.

Including the store closures, year-to-date total revenues increased 1.9 percent to $1.421 billion, compared to $1.395 billion for the same period last year. Year-to-date comparable store sales, which exclude the store closures, increased 0.6 percent.

Additionally, pursuant to its stock repurchase program, the Company purchased during the quarter approximately 2,079,000 shares of its common stock totaling $55 million.

This completes the Company's $100 million authorization with over 3,716,000 shares repurchased at an average price of $26.88 per share.

Zale Corporation will announce its second quarter fiscal 2006 earnings results on February 17, 2006. A conference call will be held at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

Zale Corporation is North America's largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry operating approximately 2,400 retail locations throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as online.

Zale Corporation

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