HART STORES REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR END RESULTS

SYMBOL: HIS (TSX)
www.hartstores.com

LAVAL, QC, April 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Hart Stores Inc., an operator of mid-sized department stores (TSX: HIS), announced today its financial results for the Fourth Quarter and the 2011 fiscal year ended January 29, 2011.

For the 52 week period ended January 29, 2011, sales were $174.7 million, compared to $179.5 last year. The Company posted a net loss of $1.7 million compared to net earnings $1.6 million for the same period the previous year. The net loss was $0.12 per share fully diluted compared to net earnings of $0.12 per share fully diluted in the same period the previous year. Comparable same-store sales decreased 4.4% for this fiscal year compared to the same period last year.

Sales in the 13 week period ended January 29, 2011 totalled $52.2 million compared to $53.6 million for the same period in the previous year, a decrease of $1.4 million. Fourth quarter sales were impacted by lower same-store sales. Net earnings for the fourth quarter this year were $0.5 million ($0.04 per share fully diluted) compared to $0.8 million ($0.06 per share fully diluted) in the previous year. Comparable same-store sales were down by 6.4% for the quarter compared to the same period last year.

In commenting on the results Mr. Michael Hart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hart Stores said, "The results were impacted by lower same-store sales as well as the additional costs incurred in implementing the new POS and the integration of the merchandise operating system which will be fully implemented early in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. We expect to see the results of our new systems improve efficiencies in all aspects of the business, and to have a very positive effect in improving same store sales starting in the first quarter of next fiscal year.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2012 the Company did open one new store, in Pembroke, Ontario. The Company now operates 92 locations in Eastern Canada.

     
Summary of quarter and full year
periods 
4th Quarter ending:
(unaudited) 
Fiscal year ending:
(audited)
(In thousands of dollars, except per share amounts)  Jan. 29, 2011   Jan. 30, 2010   Jan. 29, 2011   Jan. 30, 2010
Sales 52,231    53,607   174,692   179,462
Other Income -   752   -   1,602
Net (loss) earnings 523   757   (1,712)   1,585
Net (loss) earnings per share:
Basic
Diluted
0.04
0.04
  0.06
0.06
  (0.13)
(0.12)
  0.12
0.12


About Hart Stores Inc.:

Hart Stores Inc. operates a network of 92 mid-sized department stores under the Hart, Bargain Giant and Géant des Aubaines banners. The stores are located in secondary and tertiary markets throughout Eastern Canada where the Company has established a dominant position in many of the communities that it serves. The stores offer an extensive and differentiated selection of national and exclusive fashion apparel brands as well as family footwear, home furnishings, electronics, appliances, giftware, toys, and seasonal goods.

SOURCE HART STORES INC.

For further information:

Mr. Michael Hart
President and Chief Executive Officer
Hart Stores Inc.
(450) 661-4155
mi.hart@hartstores.com

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HART STORES INC.

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