SPORTS AUTHORITY BACK IN BLACK WITH PERIOD PROFIT OF $9 MILLION

NEW YORK — The Sports Authority Inc. reported that its first-quarter earnings climbed to $9 million, or 28 cents a share, after a loss of $1.5 million a year ago.
For the quarter ended April 29, the firm said its sales were down slightly to $354.2 million, from $356.5 million. Comparable store sales increased 0.8 percent.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company said sales were hurt from reductions in hunting-rifles and handguns purchases.
Marty Hanaka, chairman and chief executive, said, “Overall, the fundamental business trends are continuing to head in the right direction. Two-thirds of our departments, including team sports, golf, ladies’ apparel and water sports, produced solid sales and margin gains over the prior year. However, margin dollars in areas such as outdoors, men’s apparel and footwear still held us back.”
The company said the increase in income reflects a gain of $17.2 million from the early retirement of debt, while last year’s results include pretax gains of $5 million from the deconsolidation of its Japanese joint venture and $700,000 from corporate restructuring
The Sports Authority operates 197 full-line sporting-goods stores in 32 states.