Saks posts loss

Wednesday, August 15, 2012    

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NEW YORK, USA - SAKS saw its loss widen in the second quarter from a year ago, as results were dragged down by charges related to closing stores and opening a fulfilment centre in Tennessee. But the luxury department store chain reiterated its sales forecast for the second half of the year, underscoring how wealthy shoppers are proving to be resilient in a yo-yo economy.

Like many high-end retailers, Saks has seen its affluent shoppers return to spending freely on status goods since the recession. But the volatility in the stock market and the financial crisis in Europe are creating some challenges for Saks. Earlier in the spring, Saks had to step up discounting, but the latest results show solid spending by its wealthy clientele.

"While the overall near-term macro environment remains uncertain, we are very excited about the future of Saks and our ability to generate continued growth," said Stephen I Sadove, chairman and CEO of Saks, in a statement. "We remain focused on executing our core merchandising, service, and marketing strategies."

The New York company said that it lost US$12.3 million, or eight cents per share, for the three-month period ended July 28, yesterday. That compares with US$8.37 million, or five cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding charges, Saks lost five cents per share in the latest quarter.

Revenue rose five per cent to US$704.1 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected a loss of nine cents on revenue of US$704.9 million, on average.

Revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 4.7 per cent for the quarter. It's considered a key measure for gauging retailers' health because it excludes the impact of stores that have opened or closed in the past 12 months.



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