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Zale Corporation net profit soars $14.5mn for Q3 ended April 30, 2005

May '05
North America's largest specialty jewelry retailer Zale Corporation announced net earnings of $14.5 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the Company's third quarter ended April 30, 2005. This represents an increase of 27% on a per share basis over the same period last year when the Company reported net earnings of $11.5 million, or $0.22 per diluted share.

Total revenues for the third quarter ended April 30, 2005 were $516 million, compared to $483 million for the same period last year, an increase of 6.7%. Comparable store sales increased 3.5% for the same period.

Total revenues for the year-to-date totaled $1.911 billion compared to $1.849 billion for the same period last year, an increase of 3.3%. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.4%. Year-to-date net earnings totaled $102.7 million or $1.98 per diluted share. For the same period last year, net earnings were $99.6 million, or $1.85 per diluted share.

"We are very pleased with these earnings results as they reflect the ongoing execution of our strategy," commented Mary L. Forte, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our brand management focus along with the achievement of our growth objectives drove a solid top-line improvement for the quarter. We combined this sales performance with a 45 basis point increase in gross margins, predominantly from our direct sourcing initiatives. During the period, operating disciplines remained firmly in place as reflected in the 80 basis points of operating margin improvement over last year."

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