J.C. Penney Co., showing progress in its turnaround efforts, narrowed its loss in the second quarter down to $56 million from $117 million, on a 2.2 percent comparable-sales gain.

Marvin R. Ellison, Penney’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We are pleased with the sequential improvement we achieved throughout the second quarter, and our solid performance across all key metrics is encouraging. We exceeded our profitability expectations, achieving an $85 million or 59 percent increase in EBITDA to $229 million for the quarter. We are continuing to win market share and improve the bottom line of our business thanks to the commitment and hard work of our over 100,000 associates.”

Ellison continued, “We are excited about the initiatives we have in place to drive incremental growth in the back-half of the year with our appliance rollouts, new Sephora locations, center core refreshes, in store, dot-com fulfillment and our chainwide rollout of buy online, pick up in store same day. These and other initiatives reinforce our confidence in our ability to achieve $1 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for 2016.”

For the quarter, which ended July 30, Sephora, home, footwear and handbags were the top-performing divisions. Geographically, the Ohio Valley and Pacific were the best performing regions of the country.

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