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Kmart takes huge 1Q losses

Troy, MI — With sales falling off by more than 8 percent, then hammered by store-closing and restructuring costs, bankrupt Kmart Corp. posted a first-quarter loss of $1.45 billion.

It was the giant discounter's second straight quarterly loss in excess of $1 billion, following a $1.5 billion loss rung up in the fourth quarter of last year.

In its first full financial quarter since its bankruptcy filing in January, Kmart recorded sales of $7.64 billion, down 8.4 percent from $8.30 billion last year — a daunting shortfall of $698 million, as fearful consumers shunned the wounded retailer. Same-store sales tumbled by 11.7 percent, excluding results of the 283 stores that have been shuttered so far this year.

Acting as a drag on the bottom line, Kmart recorded $265 million in reorganization items, including store-closing costs of $233 million for lease terminations and ancillary costs. A further hit was taken as the company marked down goods to move out excess stockpiles in liquidation sales. Excluding one-time and bankruptcy-related items, the retailer put up a loss of $408 million.

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