Zale fourth-quarter same-store sales rose 2.1%

Fine jewelry retailer Zale Corp., North America’s largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry, on Thursday said its fourth-quarter same-store sales were up 2.1%, meeting company expectations.

Total revenue for the period (ended July 31) rose 3.2% to $456 million from $442 million.

For the fiscal year, comparable-store sales were up 3.9%, and total revenues rose 4.2% to $2.3 billion, from $2.2 billion for the year-ago period.

“These sales results met our expectations for the fourth quarter and have us well-positioned as we enter our new fiscal year,” said Mary L. Forte, president and CEO of the Dallas-based company. “During the course of the year, we continued to fine-tune our merchandise assortments, strengthened our clientele development efforts and made operational adjustments to improve our in-stock positions, all of which had a positive impact on our sales performance.”

In addition, Zale’s board approved a plan to buy back up to $50 million of the company’s common stock.

The company is scheduled to announce its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on Aug. 31.

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