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Saks Incorporated identifies incremental SG&A reductions
26
May '09
Retailer Saks Incorporated announced results for the first quarter ended May 2, 2009.

The Company discontinued the operations of its Club Libby Lu (“CLL”) specialty store business in January 2009, and the operating performance of CLL and expenses related to discontinuing the operations (primarily severance, inventory liquidation, store closure, and lease termination expenses) are presented as “discontinued operations” in the current and prior year periods.

Overview of Results for the First Quarter
For the first quarter ended May 2, 2009, the Company posted a net loss of $5.1 million, or $.04 per share. Excluding the after-tax loss from discontinued operations of $0.2 million, the Company recorded a loss from continuing operations of $4.9 million, or $.04 per share.

For the prior year first quarter ended May 3, 2008, the Company recorded net income of $17.3 million, or $.12 per share. Excluding the after-tax loss from discontinued operations of $1.6 million, or $.01 per share, the Company recorded net income from continuing operations of $19.0 million, or $.13 per share.

Comments on the First Quarter Ended May 2, 2009 Stephen I. Sadove, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, noted, “I am proud of how the Saks team is continuing to respond to the challenging economic landscape. Although the sales environment remains extremely difficult, we are carefully managing inventories, expenses, and capital spending, and through these actions our first quarter operating performance exceeded expectations. I remain confident that we are taking the necessary actions to emerge as an even stronger company once the economic conditions improve.”

Comparable store sales declined 27.6% in the first quarter. Excluding the shift of a spring season clearance event into the second quarter this year from the first quarter last year, management estimates that comparable store sales would have declined approximately 25% for the first quarter.

Saks Fifth Avenue stores experienced continued weakness across all merchandise categories, geographies, and channels of distribution during the quarter. Consistent with the fourth quarter, the sales decline in the New York City flagship store was higher than the Company's aggregate comparable store sales decline. Saks Direct posted a 14.6% comparable store sales decline in the quarter (also negatively impacted by the aforementioned event shift), versus an increase of over 40% in last year's first quarter. OFF 5TH's comparable store sales performance continued to show relative strength during the period.


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