Zale Reports 1.6% Increase in Gross Revenue

Zale Corp., the largest U.S. specialty jeweler, announced that total revenue for the fourth quarter, ended July 31, rose 1.6%, to $442.4 million. The Dallas-based jeweler said it earned $6.7 million for the quarter before special items, up from $5.1 million for the same period in 2002. When those special items are included, however, the company said its net income fell to $2.93 million for the quarter, from $3.65 million a year earlier. Zale paid down more expensive debt and obtained a new line of credit at a lower interest rate so that it could buy back shares and expand, the company said. For fiscal year 2003, Zale posted a net loss of $40.6 million compared with gains of $143.9 million in fiscal 2002. Revenue edged up slightly to $2.21 billion from $2.19 billion in the previous fiscal year. Same-store sales increased less than 1% for the year. Zale Corp. is North America's large

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