Bon-Ton’s loss widens in Q2

Milwaukee-based The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. today reported a second quarter net loss of $39.6 million, or $2.01 lost per share, compared with a net loss of $36.2 million, or $1.86 lost per share, in the second quarter of 2014.

The loss included $4.9 million lost through the early termination of one of Bon-Ton’s mortgage facilities.

The loss from operations was $19.7 million, compared with an operating loss of $20.3 million in the same period a year ago. The company was able to reduce its selling, general and administrative expense by $600,000 in the quarter.

Revenue totaled $554 million, down from $563.5 million in the second quarter of 2014.

Comparable store sales decreased 1.3 percent year-over-year.
The national retailer has been struggling to turn a profit in recent quarters.

“While our second quarter sales results were challenged, we saw meaningful improvement in our gross margin rate and effectively managed expenses, enabling us to achieve Adjusted EBITDA in line with that of last year,” said Kathryn Bufano, president and chief executive officer. “Sales were pressured by unseasonably cool weather, which impacted our seasonal classifications, and by weakness in overall traffic trends. That said, we were encouraged by the sales improvement in certain core categories and our private label business. We drove higher merchandise margins while we managed our inventory well, ending the quarter with on-hand inventories flat to last year on a comparable store basis and moving in the right direction to achieve our inventory reduction goal by the end of the year. Additionally, as previously announced, we closed on a sale/leaseback transaction that enabled us to retire one of our mortgage facilities.”

“Looking ahead, we believe that some of the macro pressures that impacted our sales during the second quarter will continue into the second half and, therefore, we are reducing our fiscal 2015 Adjusted EBITDA guidance to a range of $145 million to $155 million. We will continue to prudently manage our business while we remain focused on the continued execution of our strategic initiatives to drive improved sales productivity and EBITDA growth over the long term.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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