Finlay comparable sales up 1 percent

Finlay Enterprises Inc. said Thursday that comparable department sales rose 1 percent in November and December.

The company, which sells jewelry inside of department stores, said the increase excludes the 196 stores that Finlay is closing because of Federated Department Stores Inc.’s 2005 acquisition of May Department Stores Co. Including those discontinued stores, Finlay said same-store sales edged down 0.6 percent.

Total sales for the two-month period increased 9.9 percent to $385.3 million, when compared to the $350.6 million for the same period in 2004.

Comparable department sales for the 11-month period ended Dec. 31, increased 0.7 percent, including only the continuing stores. Counting discontinued stores, same-store sales increased 0.1 percent.

“After a softer than expected November, sales in our continuing stores rebounded in December and the holiday season finished strongly,” Arthur E. Reiner, Finlay chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.