Zale reports smaller Q3 net loss

Dallas Zale Corp. on Wednesday reported a net loss of $12.1 million for its third quarter ended April 30, compared with a year-ago loss of $19.5 million. Revenue fell 5% to $359.8 million, from $379.1 million a year ago.

The company reduced costs by $16 million in the quarter and reduced inventory by $70 million from a year ago to end the quarter at $693 million, mainly due to store closings.

The smaller net loss in its fiscal third quarter was helped by a tax benefit and the company's efforts to cut costs and sell more items at full price.

The company has been working with adviser Peter J. Solomon Co. to improve its cash situation, including a possible sale of all or part of the company.

“We have completed the initial stages of our turnaround plan,” said Theo Killion, president and interim CEO. “With the additional liquidity that we announced earlier this month, all of our focus will be on fixing the business in order to return it to profitability.”

Earlier this month, Zale received a $150 million lifeline from private equity firm Golden Gate Capital and a new $650 million credit line that will bolster the jeweler's cash position, allowing it to restructure its retail locations and expand online sales.

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