Finlay sales up 26 percent

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., a fine jewelry retailer and the largest operator of licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores in the United States, said that total sales for the first quarter increased 26.8 percent to $235.4 million compared to $185.7 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2005. Carlyle contributed sales of $17.5 million in the quarter.

Comparable department sales for the first quarter, ended April 29, increased 1.1 percent. The company estimates the calendar shift associated with Mother’s Day falling a week later this year had an approximate 2 percent negative impact on first quarter comparable department sales and will benefit the second quarter by a similar amount.

The results exclude the 194 stores that Finlay will no longer operate in the second half of 2006 as a result of Federated’s integration plans. Comparable department sales for the first quarter including discontinued stores increased 20.3 percent predominantly as a result of stronger than anticipated going out of business sales.

The New York based-company expects to report full financial results for the first quarter on May 18.