Birks & Mayors Inc. (AMEX: BMJ) (the “Company”) announced today that net sales during the fiscal 2012 holiday season (for the period from October 30, 2011 through December 24, 2011) increased by 5% to $79.5 million compared to net sales of $75.5 million during last year’s holiday season (for the period from October 31, 2010 through December 25, 2010). The $4.0 million increase in net sales was driven by an increase in comparable store sales of 3% and higher revenues related to precious metal refining services offered to our customers in Canada, partially offset by $0.6 million of lower sales related to translating the sales of the Company’s Canadian operations into U.S. dollars with a relatively weaker Canadian dollar. Comparable store sales during the holiday season (which include stores open in the same period in both the current and prior year and at constant exchange rates) increased by 3% on a consolidated basis with comparable store sales in Canada increasing by 4% and U.S. comparable store sales growing by 2%. The stronger sales results in both Canada and the U.S. reflect an increase in the average sale.
Thomas A. Andruskevich, President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “The holiday season began with good sales momentum, however, during the final weeks before Christmas we experienced strong declines in customer traffic in our stores. As such, our sales increases during the holiday period were somewhat softer than what we would have liked to see. However, we continued to stay true to our merchandising and marketing strategies which allowed us to increase our gross margin and as a result, we expect to deliver improved operating performance over the prior holiday period. As we enter our fourth quarter, we will continue to focus on executing those strategies that have been generating increases in sales and gross profit while continuing to manage the level and productivity of our inventory and control expenses and capital expenditures. As always, we will continue to deliver on our core values of providing superior customer service and maintaining strong client relationships.”