Sales Up but Losses Mount for Finlay

Finlay Enterprises, Inc. reported that sales for the second quarter increased 28.8 percent to $190.6 million, year-over-year.

Specialty jewelry stores consisting of Carlyle, Congress, and Bailey Banks & Biddle, which were acquired in November 2007, contributed sales of $74.9 million for the second quarter, as compared to $27 million for the same period last year. Same-store sales for the second quarter decreased 4.8 percent.

For the quarter, ended Aug. 2, reported a loss from continuing operations of $12.3 million, compared to a loss of $8.5 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2007. Loss from operations before depreciation and amortization expenses for the second quarter totaled $7.1 million, compared to a loss of $1.9 million in the prior year period.

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., operates fine jewelry operating luxury stand-alone specialty jewelry stores and licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores throughout the United States.

On a continuing operations basis, sales for the six months ended Aug. 2 increased 27.3 percent to $395.7 million, year-over-year.

Specialty jewelry stores contributed sales of $152.6 million for the six month period as compared to $54.3 million in 2007. Same-store sales for the six months decreased 4.6 percent.

For the twenty-six weeks ended Aug. 2, the company reported a loss from continuing operations of $23.3 million, compared to a loss of $16.2 million, for the twenty-six weeks ended Aug. 4, 2007. EBITDA for the six months totaled a loss of $10.9 million compared to a loss of $3.3 million in the prior year period.

“The second quarter was impacted by ongoing weakness in consumer confidence as well as a challenging retail environment,” said Arthur E. Reiner, chairman and chief executive officer of Finlay Enterprises, Inc. “It is largely for these reasons that we continue to maintain strong discipline in managing our operating expenses and inventory levels in order to maximize our liquidity position. Our conservative approach to managing cash enabled us to end the second quarter with availability under our credit facility very close to our original plan. Moving forward, we will continue to intensify our focus on brand building within the Bailey Banks & Biddle and Carlyle businesses, as we transition our Company from a 100% leased business to a more diversified business with a focus on expanding the specialty store division.”

In its outlook, the Finlay said that “Given the uncertainty of the macroeconomic environment in which the company is currently operating, management has decided not to comment on the company’s guidance for the full year.”