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Nov 19, 2013
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Sears Canada loss widens due to restructuring charges

By
Reuters
Published
Nov 19, 2013

Struggling department store chain Sears Canada Inc reported a larger quarterly loss as it took one-time charges related to restructuring and asset impairment.

Sears Canada is in the middle of a three-year turnaround plan, introduced in 2012 to boost sales and reclaim market share at a time when U.S. retailers such as Target Corp are building up their presence in Canada.

Sears Canada, 51 percent-owned by Sears Holdings Corp , closed stores, sold real estate and shed assets in the third quarter ended Nov. 2.

The company's quarterly same-store sales rose for the first time since 2008.

Sales rose 1.2 percent at established stores, helped by higher sales of apparel and accessories.

Sears Canada's revenue fell about 6 percent to C$982.3 million.

The company also sells baby care items and appliances such as coffee makers, blenders and microwaves. The company's private apparel brands include Jessica and Attitude.

ONE-TIME DIVIDEND

The Toronto-based company announced a special dividend of C$5 per share, or C$509 million ($488 million), payable on Dec. 6 to shareholders of record on Dec. 2

The company's net loss widened to C$48.8 million, or 48 Canadian cents per share, in the third quarter, from C$21.9 million, or 22 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

The loss included a charge of C$42.8 million.

Sears Canada said this month it would sell its 50 percent stake in eight Canadian properties for about C$315 million.

The company said in October that it would close its flagship downtown Toronto store and end the leases on four other locations in a C$400 million deal.

U.S. retailer Target opened its first Canadian stores in March and plans to have 124 by the end of the year.

Sears Canada shares closed at C$16.80 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.

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