Dallas-based Zale Corp. said Wednesday that strengthening fine jewelry sales helped it narrow its third-quarter net loss.


For the quarter ended April 30, the jeweler posted a net loss of $4.5 million, or 14 cents a diluted share. This compared with a net loss of $9 million, or 28 cents a year earlier.


Revenues for the quarter rose 8.1 percent to $445.2 million, from $411.8 million the prior year.


Analysts expected a loss of 16 cents a share on sales of $433.9 million.


The improved results were helped by a 10.9 percent increase in same-store sales at the company’s fine jewelry brands, Gordon’s jewelers, Zales jewelers and Zales Outlet.


The retailer said its Canadian fine jewelry business, consisting of Peoples Jewellers and Mappins Jewelers, had a 3.8 percent same-store sales increase. These gains were offset by a 1.1 percent decline in same-store sales at Kiosk Jewelry.


“The six consecutive quarters of positive comps, coupled with continued momentum through the Mother’s Day selling period, demonstrates that the strategic initiatives we’ve undertaken are resonating with our guests,” said chief executive officer Theo Killion. “In addition, the improvement in operating earnings this quarter is another indication of the progress we are making as we accelerate towards bottom line profitability.”

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