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LURIA'S REPORTS STRONG EARNINGS AND COMPARABLE STORE SALES INCREASES

 MIAMI, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- L. Luria & Son Inc. (AMEX: LUR) (Luria's) today reported a sharp increase in earnings and a strong rise in comparable store sales for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal 1994.
 Luria's reported net income of $210,000, or four cents per share, for the second quarter of fiscal 1994 ended July 31, compared with net income of $38,000, or one cent per share, for the comparable year-ago period.
 For the first six months of fiscal 1994, net income was $520,000, or 10 cents per share, compared with $83,000, or two cents per share, for the first half of fiscal 1993.
 "Our earnings increase resulted from our efforts to implement new marketing and merchandising strategies, resulting in higher comparable store sales and improved margins," said President Peter Luria.
 Luria's reported that comparable store sales increased 8.1 percent for the second quarter of fiscal 1994 over the year-ago quarter. For the first six months of fiscal 1994, comparable stores sales were 7.7 percent higher than for the same period a year ago.
 "We're pleased with the significant increase in comparable store sales and continue to be optimistic about the company's prospects for the rest of fiscal 1994," Luria said.
 Net sales for the second quarter were $44.9 million compared with $45.3 million for the same year-ago quarter. The lower sales are attributable to a combination of not having a warehouse sale at the company's Miami Lakes corporate facility this spring and of having four fewer stores than last year. Luria's operated 49 stores for the first six months of fiscal 1994 compared with 53 stores for the same year-ago period. One of those stores was closed as a result of Hurricane Andrew and is slated to reopen in the spring of 1994.
 Net sales for the first six months of fiscal 1994 were $93.2 million compared with $92.1 million for the first half of fiscal 1993.
 Luria said that the gross margin for the second quarter of fiscal 1994 improved 1.4 percent to 29.0 percent from 27.6 percent for the year-ago quarter. The gross margin for the first six months of 1994 improved one full percent to 29.6 percent from 28.6 percent for the same year-ago period. Luria's attributed the strong improvement to fewer markdowns for the first six months of fiscal 1994 and a better sales mix of jewelry vs. general merchandise.
 The operating expense ratio increased to 28.1 percent from 27.4 percent for the same year-ago quarter. For the first six months of fiscal 1994, the operating expense ratio increased to 28.8 percent from
28.4 percent for the first half of fiscal 1993. Actual operating expenses for the second quarter of fiscal 1994 increased to $12.6 million from $12.4 million in the same second quarter of fiscal 1993. For the first six months of fiscal 1994, actual operating expenses increased to $26.8 million from $26.2 million for the same period a year ago.
 Luria's is changing its format from a catalog showroom to a specialty discount retailer. The company is focusing on a price-value image and the development of a new superstore prototype that includes mass displays of self-service merchandise, more in-store promotions, check-out counters and shopping carts to make buying quicker and easier.
 By the end of this year, Luria's will have four superstores in operation, with six more slated to open in fiscal 1995.
 Based in Miami Lakes, L. Luria & Son, Inc. is Florida's leading specialty discount retailer. The company sells a broad line of diamond and gold jewelry, giftware, housewares, home furnishings and consumer electronics in 49 locations throughout Florida.
 L. LURIA & SON INC.
 (000's except earnings per share)
 SECOND QUARTER FIRST HALF
 Fiscal Fiscal Fiscal Fiscal
 1994 1993 1994 1993
 Net Sales $ 44,894 $ 45,330 $ 93,235 $ 92,067
 Net Income $ 210 $ 38 $ 520 83
 Earnings Per
 Share $ .04 $ .01 $ .10 $ .02
 -0- 8/26/93
 /CONTACT: Peter Luria, president of L. Luria & Son, 305-557-9000, Ext. 306/
 (LUR)


CO: L. Luria & Son Inc. ST: Florida IN: REA SU: ERN

AW -- FL004 -- 6048 08/26/93 09:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 1993
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