Hart Stores reports first quarter results


LAVAL, QC, June 10 /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 1, 2010.

For the 13 week period ended May 1, 2010, the Company recorded sales of $35.0 million, same as prior year, and also reported a net loss of $1,430,000 compared to a net loss of $595,000 for the same period in the previous year. Net loss was $0.10 per share compared to a net loss of $0.04 per share for the same period last year.

First quarter sales increased slightly, mainly due to promotional activities partially offset by lower same-store sales. Net loss for the first quarter was due to higher promotional activities in order to reduce seasonal inventory. Same-store sales were down 0.4% 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 mild winter season reduced the demand for goods related to that particular season. In order to maintain inventory levels low and reduce carrying cost, the Company increased promotional activities mainly in the month of February. Overall, volume of transactions remained the same and our inventory is well balanced for the upcoming summer season."

During the first quarter of this year the Company opened one store, in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. This brings the total number of stores in operation to 90.

Mr Harry Hart, executive chairman of Hart Stores announced, "The Board of directors has decided not to declare a dividend at this time".

    Summary of quarter                               1st Quarter ending:
    (In thousands of dollars,                            (unaudited)
     except per share amounts)                   May 1, 2010    May 2, 2009
                                                   (13 weeks)     (13 weeks)
                                                           $              $
    Sales                                             35,041         34,959
    Net loss                                          (1,430)          (595)
    Net loss per share:
      Basic                                            (0.10)         (0.04)
      Diluted                                          (0.10)         (0.04)

About Hart Stores Inc.:

Hart Stores Inc. operates a network of 90 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: For further information: Mr. Jacques Plante, CA, Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Hart Stores Inc., (450) 661-4155, jplante@hartstores.com

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