Hart Stores Reports Record Sales



    Investment in operational infrastructure favourable for continued growth

    SYMBOL: HIS (TSX)
    www.hartstores.com

    LAVAL, QC, April 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Hart Stores Inc (TSX: HIS), an
operator of mid-sized department stores today reported record sales of
$166.4 million for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2007, an increase of
$18.4 million or 12.5% over sales a year earlier. Same store sales were up
3.0% in the same period.
    The Company recorded net earnings of $4.4 million ($0.33 per share) in
fiscal 2007, compared with net earnings of $7.0 million ($0.52 per share) the
previous year. The change in net earnings is primarily attributable to the
start up costs associated with the opening of the new 220,000 square foot head
office and distribution facility, and the non-recurring income of $950,000 and
the non-recurring write down and expenses related to the balance of the lease
term from the former head office facility. Operating income for fiscal year
2007 was sustained at $10.2 million.
    In the fourth quarter, sales increased 13.1% to $53.3 million compared to
$47.1 million in the same quarter the previous year with same store sales up
3.1%. Net earnings for the quarter were $0.3 million ($0.02 per share)
compared to $3.3 million ($0.25 per share) in the fourth quarter of fiscal
2006 which included non-recurring income in the amount of $950,000.
    Hart Stores President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Hart said, "We
are pleased with the logistics enhancements resulting from our new
distribution centre which has increased the efficiency of our distribution
network and provides a strong foundation for future expansion. This was an
important investment and positions the Company to successfully support its
continued growth. On the financial front, we strengthened our balance sheet,
increased our revolving credit facility and increased our working capital from
$29.6 million to $37.6 million."
    Last year the Company opened five new stores in Ontario, growing its
total network of stores to 75 locations. Currently the Company plans to open
two new stores later this year.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Summary of quarter           Unaudited 4th Quarter      Audited Year End
     and year end results          14 weeks   13 weeks   53 weeks   52 weeks
    $ 000s (except per
     share amounts)                   Ended      Ended      Ended      Ended
                                      Feb.3,   Jan. 28,     Feb.3,   Jan. 28,
                                       2007       2006       2007       2006
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sales                            53,251     47,072    166,410    147,970
    Other Income                          -        950          -        950
    Other Expenses                     (227)         -       (864)         -
    Net earnings                        326      3,344      4,394      7,024

    Net earnings per share:
      - Basic                          0.02       0.25       0.33       0.52
      - Diluted                        0.02       0.24       0.32       0.51
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    About Hart Stores Inc.:

    Hart Stores Inc. operates a network of 75 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, giftware, toys, and seasonal goods.
    %SEDAR: 00004123EF




For further information:

For further information: Mr. Michael Hart, President and CEO, Hart
Stores Inc., (450) 661-4155, mihart@hartstores.com; www.hartstores.com

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Hart Stores Inc.

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