BUSINESS

Sears Canada Says It Reached A 'Turning Point' This Summer

09/02/2015 08:57 EDT | Updated 09/02/2015 09:00 EDT

TORONTO - Sears Canada's second-quarter revenue was down 9.1 per cent from the comparable period last year but the company says its core retail network showed positive sales momentum and the sale of some properties helped produce a profit.

For the second quarter ended Aug. 1, Sears Canada's revenue was $768.8 million and net income was $13.5 million or 13 cents per share. Included in the profit was a $67.2-million gain, before taxes, from the sale and leaseback of three properties.

In the comparable period last year, Sears Canada had a loss of $21.3 million or 21 cents per share with $844.4 million for the quarter ended Aug. 2, 2014.

The struggling retailer says it had a "turning point'' in the month of June when its core retail network grew sales compared with last year but it said the company's overall cost structure is too high.

Sears Canada Inc. says it plans bring down annual operating expenses by $100 million to $125 million compared with 2014 levels and to implement cost reduction initiatives in the current quarter that began Aug. 2.

The company's press release didn't provide details on where it expects to make cost savings. It did say that it plans to open a wave of branded shops within its stores by November under agreements with 12 vendors, including Haggar and Dockers.

Overall same-store sales, including non-core locations, fell 3.9 per cent for the quarter. But same-store sales at its core retail network were down just one per cent for the quarter and positive in the months of June and August.

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