Hart Stores reports third quarter results


    LAVAL, QC, Dec. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - Hart Stores Inc., an operator of
mid-sized department stores (HIS:TSX), announced today its financial results
for the third quarter ended November 3, 2007. The Company posted net earnings
of $1.8 million compared to $2.2 million in the same period the previous year.
Net earnings for the third quarter were $0.13 per share compared to $0.16 in
the same period the previous year.
    Sales in the third quarter ended November 3, 2007 totalled $41.3 million
compared to $45.0 million in the same quarter the previous year, a decrease of
8.2% or $3.7 million. Comparable same-store sales were down by 9.6% for the
third 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 Company's performance reflects the
late start of the Fall season and the competitive environment of the current
retail market conditions, and the impact of lower selling prices to reflect
the strength of the Canadian dollar which further impacted the retail selling
    "We are pleased to have improved our profit margins during the same
period over last year, however this increase was offset by lower volume. We
will continue to pursue strategic growth opportunities in our key markets and
will further expand the business by adding four new stores which are scheduled
to open in the Spring of 2008."
    For the thirty-nine week period ended November 3rd, 2007 compared to the
same period in the previous year, net earnings decreased by $471,000 to
$3.6 million or $0.26 per share compared to $4.1 million, or $0.30 per share
in the same period the previous year. Total sales were down by 0.6% to
$112.4 million.
    During the past quarter the Company opened three new stores, one in
Ontario, in the city of North Bay, one in New Brunswick, in the city of
Tracadie and one in Québec, in the city of Sherbrooke (Fleurimont). This
brings the number of stores in operation to 77.

    Quarter and nine-month periods    For the 13 weeks      For the 39 weeks
    (Unaudited)                            ended:                ended:
    (In thousands of dollars,         Nov. 3,  Oct. 28,    Nov. 3,   Oct. 28,
     except per share amounts)          2007      2006       2007       2006
    Sales                             41,287    45,028    112,446    113,159
    Net earnings                       1,761     2,165      3,597      4,068
    Net earnings per share:
      Basic                             0.13      0.16       0.26       0.30
      Diluted                           0.13      0.16       0.26       0.29

    About Hart Stores Inc.:

    Hart Stores Inc. operates a network of 77 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. Jacques Plante, CA, Vice-President Finance
and Chief Financial Officer, Hart Stores Inc., (450) 661-4155,

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