Zale narrows loss on rising sales

Dallas — Zale Corp. said its net loss shrank in its most recent quarter and posted a double-digit revenue gain despite increasing costs for gold, silver and diamonds. The company posted a net loss for the three months that ended on April 30 of $9 million, compared to $12.1 million in its fiscal third quarter last year. Analysts had expected a far deeper loss.

Overall revenue rose 14.5% in the three months that ended on April 30 to $411.8 million, from $359.8 million last year. Analysts had expected $392 million. Same-store sales in the quarter were up 15.2%.

We continue to make progress in our multi-year initiatives to return the company to profitability," Zale CEO Theo Killion said.

The company was able to shrink its loss despite rising prices for the diamonds, gold and silver used in its jewelry, which weighed on gross margins. Zale started raising some prices last month and plans to increase prices across North America during the May-July quarter.

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