Lazare Kaplan Reports Sales Decrease for Second Quarter

Lazare Kaplan Intl Inc. reports that net sales for the second quarter and half-year periods ended Nov. 30, 2006 were $94.4 million and $233.3 million, respectively, a decrease of approximately 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively compared to the respective prior year periods.

Gross margin for were 5.2 percent for the quarter and 4.4 percent for the first-half of the year, respectively, compared to 6.3 percent and 6.4 percent in the comparable prior year periods.

The company said that the decrease in sales and gross margin reflects a shift in sales mix with a higher percentage of overall sales derived from lower margin rough diamond trading and the sale of fine cut commercial polished diamonds. In addition, during the second quarter the company said it sought to close out certain slower moving commercial polished diamonds at reduced prices to maximize cash flow and reduce inventory-carrying costs.

Net income loss for the first quarter was $1.4 million and for the half-year it was $3.2 million.

Lazare Kaplan 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.