UPDATE 1-Zale reports higher 2nd-qtr profit

Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:03am EST

* Q2 EPS from cont ops $0.78 vs $0.74 year ago qtr

* Q2 sales rose 6 pct to $663.8 mln

* Same-store sales up 5.8 percent

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Jewelry retailer Zale Corp posted a higher quarterly profit helped by a surge in sales over the holiday period, primarily at its U.S. Fine Jewelry brands.

Sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 5.8 percent in the second quarter, ended Jan. 31. That at U.S. Fine Jewelry brands rose 8.9 percent.

The company, whose chains include Zales in the United States and Peoples Jewellers in Canada, said overall revenue rose 6 percent to $663.8 million.

Net profit rose to $28.8 million, or 77 cents per share, from $27.2 million, or 73 cents per share, a year ago.

Operating profit grew to $28.9 million from $27.7 million.

Shares of the company closed at $3.39 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.