J.C. Penney suffered a net loss of $163 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared with a $64 million profit last year.
The company’s total sales declined 20 percent to $3.15 billion.
“Sales and profitability have been tougher than anticipated during the first 13 weeks, but the transformation is ahead of schedule,” Ron Johnson said in a statement. “Customers love the new jcp they discover in our stores. We fully expect that the bold and strategic changes we are making to our operations will result in improved profitability and sustainable growth over the long term.”
The company’s efforts to “aggressively manage expenses, coupled with additional operational efficiencies that management has identified,” are expected to accelerate savings up to approximately $900 million at the end of 2012. J.C. Penney also announced that it would discontinue the $0.20 per share quarterly dividend that on an annual basis will result in cash savings of approximately $175 million.
Highlights of J.C. Penney’s first quarter financial statement (ended April 28):
- Comparable store sales: down 18.9 percent
- Internet sales: down 27.9 percent
- Gross margin: down 25.6 percent
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