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Struggling Bon-Ton Stores Inc. reported that its loss for the first quarter ended May 3 widened to $31.5 million, or $1.63 a diluted share, compared with a net loss of $26.6 million, or $1.41a share in the year ago period.
Total sales decreased 6.1 percent to $607.5 million from $646.9 million a year ago, and 5.8 percent on a comparable store basis. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization was $7.1 million, compared with $15.2 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
“We forecasted our first quarter sales to reflect weather challenges, but the prolonged adverse conditions resulted in a financial performance below our expectations,” said Brendan Hoffman, president and chief executive officer. “We saw an improvement in sales performance mid-April as the weather became more seasonal and traffic trends improved dramatically. Despite our shortfall in sales, we were able to achieve a higher gross margin rate, control expenses and effectively manage our inventory such that we ended the quarter with retail inventory levels 1.7% below that of the prior year on a comparable store basis.”
Bon-Ton reaffirmed its fiscal 2014 guidance for adjusted EBITDA in a range of $170 million to $180 million and for income per diluted share in a range of $0.40 to $0.70.