Belk Sales Fall, Losses Mount
December 8, 2008,
Regional department store operator Belk Inc. reported a dramatically deeper net loss for the third quarter, as sales fell more steeply.
Year-to-date, Belk registered a net loss of $10.2 million, vs. net income of $10.1 million in the prior-year period. Excluding non-comparable items, the loss was $11.9 million, vs. earnings of $15.7 million one year ago.
Sales in the quarter fell 8.3% to $741.4 million, while comps decreased 9.8%. Year-to-date sales of $2.39 billion were down 7.9%; comps fell 7.5%.
"We have maintained a strong balance sheet and positive cash flow, which places us in a good position to weather the downturn," asserted Tim Belk, chairman and ceo of the 308-store retailer. "We are also continuing to invest in our business with the opening of three new stores, the relaunch of our expanded website and the development of new brands."