Saks narrows loss on cost cuts, less discounting

NEW YORK, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Luxury department store operator Saks Inc (SKS.N) reported a narrower quarterly loss as cost-cutting, less discounting and strong results at its Manhattan flagship store helped mitigate still sluggish sales.

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Saks reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $4.6 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a loss of $99.7 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.

Saks, which sells brands such as Marc Jacobs, Versace and Oscar de la Renta as well as its own branded apparel, said overall sales during the quarter, ended Jan. 30, fell 3.4 percent to $811.3 million.

Sales at stores open at least a year fell 4.8 percent.

The company forecast that same-store sales would improve in 2010 in the "low-to-mid-single digit range" and would pick up speed in the second half of the year, citing an improving luxury sector. (Reporting by Phil Wahba; editing by John Wallace)

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