Finlay Q1 Same-Store Sales Down 4.5%

Finlay Enterprises, Inc. reported that sales for the first quarter, ended May 30, increased 25.9 percent, year-over-year.

Specialty jewelry stores consisting of Carlyle, Congress, and Bailey Banks & Biddle, which were acquired in November 2007, contributed sales of $77.7 million for the first quarter, as compared to $27.2 million for the same period last year. Same-store sales for the period fell 4.5 percent.

The company, which operates luxury stand-alone specialty jewelry stores and licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores in the United States, reported a loss from continuing operations of $11 million, compared to a loss of $7.8 million for the same period in the prior year. Loss from operations before depreciation and amortization expenses (EBITDA) for the first quarter totaled $3.9 million, compared to a loss of $1.4 million in the prior year period.

Income from discontinued operations for the thirteen weeks ended May 5, 2007, totaled $100,000 and net loss on a consolidated basis including discontinued operations totaled $7.6 million.

“Our business was impacted by ongoing macro economic challenges and weak consumer confidence during the first quarter of 2008,” said Arthur E. Reiner, chairman and chief executive officer of Finlay Enterprises, Inc. “Although the sales for our Bailey Banks & Biddle business in the first quarter were lower than planned, our May sales trend has reinforced our belief that the initiatives we are in the process of implementing will translate into improved results. In light of the current difficult environment, we have continued to conservatively manage our business and have taken a disciplined approach to controlling our expenditures. Further, we are carefully monitoring our inventory levels so that we may maximize our cash flow. This resulted in higher than anticipated excess availability under our revolving credit facility in the first quarter.”

The New York-based company said sales for fiscal 2008 to be approximately $1 billion and same-store sales growth for the year to be approximately flat to positive 1 percent.

In addition, the company project a net loss per share in the range of $1.15 to $1.35, excluding one-time anticipated severance and accelerated depreciation charges associated with the Macy’s and Lord & Taylor store group closings. Including these charges, the company projects net loss per share to range from $1.40 to $1.60.