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Zale Posts 4Q Loss


Zale Corp. said Thursday it posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss as the jewelry retailer continued reducing inventory levels.

For the quarter ended July 31, Zale recorded a loss of $4.9 million, compared with a profit of $1.5 million in the same quarter last year.

Sales rose to $456.2 million from $430 million, as same-store sales grew 6.1%.

“In the fourth quarter, we exceeded our expectations for sales, earnings and inventory reduction," said chief executive Neal Goldberg in a statement.

Zale plans to reduce $100 million in inventory, following a "challenging" start to the company's 2008 fiscal year.

For the year, Zale posted earnings of $10.8 million, compared with $59.3 million a year earlier. Sales slipped to $2.14 billion from $2.15 billion.

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