Zale fourth-quarter same-store sales rise more than expected

Reuters

Zale Corp posted higher-than-expected fourth-quarter comparable sales on Wednesday, led big gains at its flagship chain, and reported its first profitable fiscal year since the financial crisis in 2008.

Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, rose 5.6 percent overall, including an 8.1 percent increase at its Zales stores, its biggest business by far. Analysts expected a gain of 4 percent for the whole company, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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Overall revenue rose 2.5 percent to $417.1 million.

Zale's net loss narrowed to $8 million, or 25 cents per share, for the quarter ended July 31, from $19.7 million, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier. But Zale was still able to post a full-year profit.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)