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Zale Losses Narrow

Ceo Theo Killion said the company has momentum.

Zale Corp. losses narrowed in the fourth quarter and chief executive officer Theo Killion said the company had momentum on its side.

Fourth-quarter net losses shrank to $19.7 million, or 61 cents a share, from $32.6 million, or $1.02, a year earlier. Revenues for the three months ended July 31 increased 7.9 percent to $407 million from $377.3 million as comparable-store sales rose 8.3 percent.

A change in warranty revenue recognition boosted the quarter’s bottom line by 20 cents a share and increased revenues by $7.6 million.

“We recorded our seventh consecutive quarter of positive comps [in the fourth quarter], reported a sizeable improvement in operating margin and strengthened our capital structure,” Killion said. “In fiscal year 2012, we achieved a 6.9 percent comp, on top of an 8.1 percent increase last year, and reported operating earnings for the first time since 2008. We look forward to building on this momentum in 2013.”

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For the year, net losses narrowed to $27.3 million from $112.3 million last year, as sales rose 7.1 percent to $1.87 billion.

In July, the jeweler secured a new $665 million credit facility.