Surprisingly strong sales at Zale’s nearly 1,700 stores propelled the company to its strongest full year financial performance in six years.
Zale said total company same store sales for its fourth quarter increased 5.6% and margins expanded which allowed the company to delivered its highest net income in six years for its fourth quarter ended July 31. Same store sales at Zale branded stores were even higher at 8.1% on top of a prior year increase of 12.3% the prior year.
“We intend to build on this momentum as we focus on driving profitable top-line growth and long-term shareholder value,” said Zale CEO Theo Kllion.
Revenues increased 2.5% to $417 million compared to $407 million. The sales growth couple with gross margins that expanded to 53.1% from 51.6% allowed the company to reduce its net loss to $8 million, or 25 cents a share from a prior year net loss of $20 million, or 61 cents a share.
For the year, revenues increased to $1.89 billion compared to $1.87 and same store sales increased 3.3% following a gain of 6.9% the prior year. Profits total $10 million, or 24 cents a share, compared to a net loss of $27 million, or 85 cents a share.
Zale ended the year with 1,695 locations throughout North America.