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LJ International Reports Rising Retail Sales, Boosts Outlook For 2009 Fourth Quarter And Fiscal Year

LJ International Inc. (LJI) (NASDAQ: JADE), a leading jewelry manufacturer and retailer, today announced a significant increase in revenues at its ENZO retail division, on both an overall and same-store basis, during the fourth quarter ending December 31, 2009. It also announced an upward revision of earlier guidance for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2009.

Company’s ENZO Retail Divison Continues to Exceed Expectations

The Company reported that sales at its ENZO chain of retail stores across Greater China rose approximately 56% in the fourth quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, to an estimated total of approximately $16.7 million. It achieved this gain despite a slight decrease in the number of ENZO stores, to 95 at the end of 2009 from 97 a year earlier.

On a comp-store basis, net sales increased an average of 19% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2009. The Company noted that these increases were due to the growing popularity of the ENZO brand, increased sales from the Christmas and National Day holidays, productivity gains at the store level as well as ongoing changes in its inventory mix. LJI’s comp-store data are based on figures from stores open 13 months or more. There were 75 such stores in the fourth quarter of 2009.

CEO Sees ENZO Capturing Greater Share of China’s Jewelry Market as Roll-Out Continues

“Our fourth quarter sales shows that ENZO is poised for rapid growth as the Chinese economy continues to recover and Chinese consumer spending resumes its historic upward trend,” said LJI Chairman and CEO Yu Chuan Yih. “Our strong results over the past year also reflect good management of the ENZO chain, which has shut underperforming stores and sharply increased its per-store results in the process. With ENZO gross margins continuing to run at more than 50% and nearly all of our stores individually profitable, the division is now capable of resuming its expansion largely on the strength of its own cash flows. We expect to be able to roughly double the number of ENZO locations over the next two years, adding approximately 100 stores to serve the rapidly growing Chinese market and to meet rising consumer demand for our products.”

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