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Sears Canada hikes cost-cutting target, reports lower Q1 sales, bigger loss

TORONTO – Sears Canada is continuing to lose money and says it’s increasing its 2016 cost-cutting target in an effort to return to profitability.

The national chain of retail stores says it’s now aiming to lower its annual costs by between $127 million and $155 million.

The previous range had been between $100 million and $127 million — of which $80 million was achieved in the first quarter.

Sears Canada (TSX:SCC) announced the change along with a first quarter net loss, which grew to $63.6 million from $59.1 million a year earlier.

Overall revenue was down 14.5 per cent, dropping to $595.9 million from $697.2 million. Same-store sales at its core locations fell 6.9 per cent and overall same-store sales were down 7.4 per cent.

The company said the sales decline was due to a number of factors, including a drop in big-ticket items such as major appliances following the termination of a credit card agreement.

Sears also announced plans to sell and lease back its logistics centre in Port Coquitlam, B.C., later this year.