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Kmart’s 3rd-Quarter Loss Narrows to $23M

December 5, 2003

DETROIT (AP) _ Kmart Holding Corp.’s third-quarter loss narrowed to $23 million but sales fell as the retailer offered fewer discounts.

Kmart, which emerged from bankruptcy in May, said Friday it lost 26 cents per share in the quarter ended Oct. 29. Its predecessor company Kmart Corp. lost $383 million, or 76 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

Sales tumbled 21.2 percent to $5 billion from $6.45 billion a year earlier. On a same-store basis, which compares results from stores open at least a year and is considered the best measure of a retailer’s health, sales fell 8.6 percent.

Kmart attributed the decrease in same-store sales to several companywide promotional events that were held in the third quarter of 2002 and the reduction of midweek advertising circulars this year. The decline in total sales also reflected the closure of 316 stores in the first quarter.

Excluding interest, income taxes and expenses connected to reorganization and discontinued operations, the third-quarter loss was $10 million, compared to $328 million last year, Kmart said.

``We continue to actively manage our business in a disciplined fashion steadily increasing our margin realization, reducing operating costs, enhancing the productivity of our assets and improving the overall store experience for our customers,″ chief executive Julian Day said in statement.

``Our focus on profitable sales and a consequent reduction in losses from clearance sales and promotional events resulted in a decrease in same-store sales in the third quarter,″ he said.

Day said Kmart operated profitably in November, while last year it reported a loss for the month. Neither period included Thanksgiving weekend.

In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Kmart shares were down $1.44, or 4.6 percent, to $29.86.


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