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Sales decline 22.6% at JC Penney in Q2 FY'12

13
Aug '12
J. C. Penney Company Inc. announced financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended July 28, 2012.  For the quarter, jcpenney reported an adjusted net loss of $81 million or $0.37 per share, excluding restructuring and management transition charges, inventory transition markdowns, gain on the redemption of the Simon REIT units, net of fees and non-cash qualified pension expense.  On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net loss of $147 million or $0.67 per share.

"We have now completed the first six months of our transformation and while business continues to be softer than anticipated, we are con?dent the transformation of jcpenney is on track.  The transition from a highly promotional business model to one based on everyday value will take time and we will stay the course," said jcpenney CEO Ron Johnson. 

"This month we simplified our pricing, launched the ?rst of our new shops, and accelerated our marketing efforts to focus on brands, products and value. Early response to these efforts has been very encouraging."

He added, "We continue to learn and adjust, and fully expect that our unique, specialty department store experience will drive jcpenney's long term success. Our rock solid balance sheet will support the execution of our transformation and position us for growth beginning in 2013."

Second Quarter Results:

Comparable store sales for the second quarter declined 21.7 percent.  Total sales decreased 22.6 percent, which includes the effects of the Company's exit from its outlet business.  Internet sales through jcp.com were $220 million in the second quarter, decreasing 32.6 percent from last year.  Sales were adversely impacted by the Company's decision to significantly reduce its marketing activities during the latter half of the quarter, as it reconsidered its approach to pricing and marketing in time for back to school.

Gross margin was 33.2 percent of sales, compared to 38.3 percent in the same period last year.  Gross margin was impacted by lower than expected sales in the quarter and approximately $102 million of markdowns taken to clear discontinued inventory in preparation for new product arriving in the fall of 2012.  Excluding these transitional markdowns, which lowered gross margin by 340 basis points, adjusted gross margin was 36.6 percent of sales. 

The Company's SG&A expenses decreased $193 million versus last year's second quarter.  Based on the pace of its ongoing efforts to aggressively manage expenses and additional operational efficiencies that management has identified, the Company continues to expect savings to accelerate and exceed an annual run rate of approximately $900 million at the end of 2012.

For the second quarter, the Company incurred $159 million in restructuring and management transition charges. These charges comprised the following:


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