FINLAY CUTS LOSS IN FIRST QUARTER

NEW YORK — Finlay Enterprises, which operates leased jewelry departments in department stores, slimmed its loss in the first quarter, to $1.77 million from $3.1 million a year ago.
Sales gained 6.1 percent to $178.6 million from $168.4 million, with same-store sales at domestic units up 4.7 percent. Finlay operated 1,046 domestic locations versus 958 a year ago.
Finlay said that, excluding results of its recently sold international division, the 1999 quarter loss would have been $2 million on sales of $162.7 million.
“We continue to achieve consistent gains in sales and profit,” said Arthur E. Reiner, chairman and chief executive, in a statement. He said integration of jewelry departments in Bloomingdale’s, Dayton’s and Hudson’s through the February buy of Jay B. Rudolph has been completed. Finlay’s core relationships are with May Co., Federated Department Stores and the department-store division of Saks Inc.