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Bon-Ton Reports Loss, Boosts Guidance

The Bon-Ton stores reported a second-quarter loss of $34.8 million compared to a $33.8 million loss in last year's 2Q. But with gross margin up and clearance inventories down, the company sees an improved outlook for the year.

Sales fell 9.5% to $609.2 million, with comps down 9.8%.

Bud Bergren, president and ceo, said the company will continue to plan conservatively, but feels "very good about our execution during this recession."

For the first half ended Aug. 1, net loss widened to $80.2 million from $67.9 million in the year-ago period. Sales declined 8.7% to $1.25 billion, with comps off 9.2%.

Bon-Ton raised its full-year guidance to a loss of $2.50 per share to $3.70 per share. It had previously expected a loss of $3.40 per share to $4.30 per share. The company forecasts a comp decrease of 7.0% to 9.0%.