Sears Canada posts $59.1-million Q1 loss, revenue down 9.7% from last year

TORONTO – Sears Canada Inc. (TSX:SCC) is reporting a $59.1-million net loss for the first quarter amid falling revenue, which was down 9.7 per cent from last year.

The loss amounted to 58 cents per share — which was less than during the same time last year when the struggling department store operator reported a net loss of $75.2 million or 74 cents per share.

Overall revenue for the quarter ended May 2 fell to $697.2 million, down $771.7 million, mostly because of store closures.

Same-store sales were down 4.3 per cent, measuring a decline at locations open at least a year.

The company currently has 167 corporate stores, 197 Hometown stores, over 1,300 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 85 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide repair and service network.

Sears Canada Ron Boire said the decline in same-store sales was less than any quarter in 2014 but the company is working to improve its revenue and earnings.

This year’s quarter was helped by a $5.1 million gain from a settlement of retirement benefits while last year’s first quarter included a $7.6-million non-recurring expense related to its corporate transformation efforts.

After various adjustments in both years, Sears Canada’s first quarter loss was $50.5 million compared with a loss of $58.1 million last year.