Birks & Mayors report strong sales growth and plans for new stores

Birks & Mayors Inc., which operates 67 luxury jewelry stores in Canada, Florida, and Georgia, reported strong sales increases for the fourth quarter and fiscal year for stores in both countries.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2005, the Montreal-based company said net sales increased 12.6 percent to $56 million, as compared to net sales of $49.8 million in the fourth quarter of the previous year. Comparable store sales increased 8 percent during the same period, compared to a 1 percent increase in the prior year. Comparable store sales growth included a 14 percent increase in Canada and a 4 percent gain in the U.S. Also, benefiting fourth quarter net sales was $1.2 million related to the translation of the Canadian operations into U.S. Dollars at a higher exchange rate due to the strengthening of the Canadian Dollar.

For the full Fiscal 2005 year, the company reported net sales of $274.3 million, a 14.6 percent increase over the previous year’s net sales of $239.3 million. Comparable store sales increased 11 percent for the year, compared to a 7 percent increase in the prior year. Comparable stores sales included a 7 percent increase in Canada and a 13 period rise in the U.S. Also, contributing to the increase in net sales in Fiscal 2005 was approximately $7.6 million due to the translation of the Canadian operations into U.S. Dollars at higher exchange rates.

“We are extremely pleased to report solid sales growth in Fiscal 2005, demonstrating the effectiveness of our merchandising and marketing strategies,” said Thomas A. Andruskevich, Birks & Mayors’ president and chief executive officer. “As we begin fiscal 2006, we believe we are poised to continue our positive sales momentum and benefit from the significant resources that our combined company has to offer.”

The company also announced plans to open new stores in the Naples suburb of Bonita Springs, Fla., before the 2006 holiday season, and in Westion, Fla., in the Spring of 2007.

“We are now focused on capitalizing on the many opportunities that exist to profitably grow our Birks and Mayors brands,” Andruskevich said. “A key component of this strategy is the selective expansion of our store base.”

The company expects to announce its full fiscal 2005 results during the week of July 10.

Birks & Mayors Inc. operates 39 Birks stores in most major metropolitan markets in Canada and 28 Mayors stores in Florida and Georgia.