MACY'S AUGUST OPERATING NET NEARLY DOUBLES

NEW YORK--R.H. Macy & Co. reported Monday that operating earnings nearly doubled in August due to expense cuts, capping off a year of improved operations.
The retailer said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the four weeks ended Aug. 27 rose to $14.4 million from $7.4 million last year.
Macy posted an operating loss of $9 million in the month compared to an operating loss of $13.7 million last year. The net loss totaled $26.9 million versus a net loss of $36.8 million.
Sales in the period gained 1.5 percent to $460.5 million from $453.6 million. Adjusted store sales increased 2.2 percent. Strongest sales were in Georgia, Alabama, Washington, D.C., and Florida.
Macy's cut selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses to 30.9 percent of sales from 33.4 percent.
For the year, EBITDA rose 76 percent to $369.7 million from $210.1 million the previous year.
Macy's said EBITDA for the year exceeded plan by $21 million.
Operating profit for the 12 months, before special items, reached $26 million. Operating loss totaled $72 million. Net profit, reflecting an accounting change and reorganization item, was $20.4 million. Last year, Macy lost $543.9 million.
Sales for the year slipped 1.6 percent to $6.2 billion from $6.3 billion. Adjusted comparable store sales were flat.
In a different matter, bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland Monday approved more than $5.9 million in fees and expenses to lawyers, accountants and investment advisers involved Macy's Chapter 11 case for the three months ended July 31.
Lifland ordered 10 percent of the fees held back until the Chapter 11 plan of reorganization was approved, despite protests from attorneys.
--Fairchild News Service

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