JLM COUTURE 3RD-QUARTER NET LEAP 71.3%; SALES RISE 27.6%

NEW YORK — JLM Couture Inc., formerly known as Jim Hjelm’s Private Collection Ltd., said third-quarter earnings surged 71.3 percent to $272,126, or 14 cents a share, from $158,800, or 11 cents, a year ago.
Sales of the maker of bridal and bridesmaids’ gowns in the three months ended July 31 jumped 27.6 percent to $4.3 million from $3.9 million.
The company’s improvement in profitability was due primarily to an increase in gross margins on several product lines, particularly in the Lazaro wedding gown and Occasions bridesmaid lines, Joseph L. Murphy, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Improved control over expenses contributed to the improved performance, he noted.
The reorder rate on the company’s Alvina Valenta wedding gown line, acquired in May, were strong, Murphy said, adding that the line is not expected to make a significant contribution to revenues and profits until fiscal 1998. Revenues from other products including Lazaro, Occasions and other contemporary styled lines, should accelerate during fiscal 1998, Murphy said.
For the nine months, earnings rose 88.8 percent to $696,501 or 36 cents a share, from $368,897, or 26 cents. Sales gained 24.6 percent to $11.4 million from $9.1 million.

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