Zale posts a sales and profit increase for the third quarter

Zale Corp. reported that same-store sales rose 2.5 percent for the third quarter, when compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

In addition, the Irving, Texas-based retailer reported Wednesday that total revenue rose 2.2 percent to $526.9 million for the quarter. Last year’s revenue included $10.6 million from Bailey Banks & Biddle stores that were closed in the second fiscal quarter of this year. Excluding those stores, total revenue rose 4.3 percent.

The company posted a profit of $16.8 million for the quarter, ended April 30, up from $14.5 million a year earlier. The profit included a settlement of retirement benefit obligations of $8.4 million. That benefit was partially offset by a charge for its chief operating officer’s severance pay of $2.2 million and a charge of $900,000 due to the closing of certain Bailey Banks & Biddle stores.

Excluding those items, the Dallas-based company earned $11.6 million.

Zale forecasted that comparable store sales in the fourth quarter will be in the low to mid-single digits.

“We are pleased with our performance for the third quarter, especially the sales momentum we are gaining,” said Betsy Burton, Zale’s acting chief executive officer.

Zale Corp. is North America’s largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry operating approximately 2,345 retail locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Zale also operates online at www.zales.com and www.baileybanksandbiddle.com. Zale Corp.’s brands include Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Gordon’s Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers, and Piercing Pagoda.