Lazare Kaplan reports a 78% increase in second-quarter net sales

Lazare Kaplan Intl. Inc. net sales for the second quarter ended Nov. 30, 2004, were $93.2 million, an increase of $40.8 million, or 78% compared to the same period last year, the company reports. For the six months ended Nov. 30, 2004, net sales were $171.5 million, an increase of $65.0 million or 61% over the comparable prior year period. The company said the increase in net sales reflects higher sales of both polished and rough diamonds.

Gross margin during the second quarter was $8.1 million compared to $5.6 million in the prior year period. Gross margin for the first half of the year was $18.0 million compared to $11.7 million in the prior year period.

Income before income taxes was $1.7 million for the second quarter and $5.5 million for the first half of the year, the company reports. This compares to $0.2 million and $0.7 million in the comparable prior year periods.

Net income for the second quarter and first half of the year was $1.1 million and $3.6 million, respectively, compared to $0.1 million and $0.5 million in the comparable prior year period.

Lazare Kaplan International Inc. sells its diamonds and jewelry products through a worldwide distribution network. The company is noted for its ideal cut diamonds which it markets internationally under the brand name, Lazare Diamonds.