Hart Stores reports first quarter results


    LAVAL, QC, June 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Hart Stores Inc., an operator of
mid-sized department stores (HIS:TSX), announced today its financial results
for the First Quarter ending May 3, 2008.
    For the 13 week period ended May 3, 2008, the Company posted sales of
$31.1 million compared to $30.1 million last year, an increase of
$1.0 million. It also reported net earnings of $3,000 compared to a net loss
of $304,000 for the same period the previous year. Net earnings were $0.00 per
share compared to a net loss of $0.02 for the same period in the previous
    First quarter sales increased with the addition of 4 new stores were
partially offset by lower same-store sales. Net earnings for the first quarter
this year were the net results of higher sales volume and lower cost of goods,
offset by higher freight cost and store expenses following the addition of
4 stores. Comparable same-store sales were down by 6.2% for the quarter
compared to the same period last year. During the quarter, sales were affected
by a softening in the retail market due in part to the colder weather
experienced this year compared to the previous year.
    In commenting on the results Mr. Michael Hart, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Hart Stores said, "We are very pleased by the positive
performance of our new stores and are continuing our planned expansion with
the opening of another location in the month of August as well as other store
openings planned for fiscal 2009."
    During the first quarter of this year the Company opened four new stores,
in Sault Ste.Marie and Simcoe in Ontario, Caraquet in New Brunswick and
St.John's in Newfoundland. This will bring the total number of stores in
operation to 80.
    Mr Harry Hart, executive chairman of Hart Stores announced, "The Board of
directors is pleased to declare a dividend of $0.10 per share, payable
July 10, 2008 to shareholders of record on June 20, 2008."

    Summary of quarter                                1st Quarter ending:
    (In thousands of dollars,                              (unaudited)
     except per share amounts)                   May 3, 2008     May 5, 2007
                                                   (13 weeks)      (13 weeks)
                                                           $               $
    Sales                                             31,148          30,079
    Net earnings (loss)                                    3            (304)
    Net earnings (loss) per share:
    Basic                                               0.00           (0.02)
    Diluted                                             0.00           (0.02)

    About Hart Stores Inc.:

    Hart Stores Inc. operates a network of 80 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.
    %SEDAR: 00004123EF

For further information:

For further information: Mr. Jacques Plante, CA, Vice-President Finance
and Chief Financial Officer, Hart Stores Inc., (450) 661-4155,

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