05/20/2015 10:51 EDT | Updated 05/21/2015 10:59 EDT

Sears Canada Posts $59.1 Million Loss In Q1, As Sales Drop 9.7%

TORONTO — Sears Canada Inc. 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 from $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, more than 1,300 catalogue and online merchandise pickup locations, 85 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide repair and service network.

Sears Canada chief executive Ron Boire said the drop 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.

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