ZALES GOES BACK IN BLACK IN QUARTER

DALLAS--After a $4.5 million gain in reorganization recoveries and a $1.1 million charge for early debt retirement, Zale Corp. reported first-quarter earnings of $91,000 against a loss of $3.2 million a year ago.
Operating earnings, including the reorganization recovery but excluding the debt retirement charge, were up 38.7 percent to $4.3 million from $3.1 million.
Sales for the three months ended Oct. 31 rose 4.3 percent to $214.3 million from $205.5 million.
The $4.5 million gain stems from monies set aside for expenses related to Zale's emergence from Chapter 11 in March 1994. Of that amount, $1.5 million is money never claimed by creditors and $3 million is reimbursed litigation costs.
Commenting on the latest results, Robert J. DiNicola, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement,"We continue to have increased store productivity as well as control of our expense structure," Zale operates 1,185 retail jewelry stores and leased departments in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam under the names Zales Jewelers, Gordon's Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle and Corrigan's.--Fairchild News Service

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