04/26/2017 05:55 EDT | Updated 04/26/2017 06:00 EDT

Sears Canada reports fourth-quarter loss, same-store sales up from year ago

TORONTO — Sears Canada Inc. (TSX:SCC) reported a $45.8-million loss in its latest quarter, but noted that same-store sales improved compared with a year ago as the company has worked to reinvent itself.

The retailer said Wednesday same-store sales for the quarter ended Jan. 28 were up 1.3 per cent compared with the same quarter last year. It says there's also been growth in same-store sales through the first two months of its current quarter.

Sears, which has struggled in recent years, said same-store sales were up 6.2 per cent in February compared with the same month last year and up 4.1 per cent in March compared with a year ago.

The loss for what was the fourth quarter of its financial year amounted to 45 cents per share.

That compared with a profit of $30.9 million or 30 cents per share a year ago when the company benefited from a $170.7-million gain on the termination of a credit card agreement.

Revenue fell to $744.0 million, compared with $887.6 million a year ago, due in part to store closures and a decline in its direct business due to a reduction in catalogues, challenges with its new website and fewer merchandise pick-up locations.

"Our work to reinvent our business with product innovation, customer experience, and brand positioning is starting to resonate with consumers," Sears Canada executive chairman Brandon Stranzl said in a statement.

"After many, many years of decline, Sears Canada is starting to realize growth in same store sales. We still have a lot of hard work to do and challenges ahead of us, but we are resolutely focused on the steps required to drive sustainable growth and profitability over time."