American department store JC Penney announced a sales increase in the second quarter and improved margins.
Sales increased by 2.2 per cent; the best performing departments were home, footwear, handbags and the beauty store Sephora. The company was most successful in the Ohio Valley and the Pacific.
Gross margin was up 37.1 per cent for the quarter ending July 30, a 0.1 percentage point improvement on the same period last year.
JC Penney's net loss more than halved to $56m (£43m). The company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) were up by 59 per cent to $229m (£175.9m).
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Marvin R Ellison, chairman and chief executive of JC Penney, said: "We are continuing to win market share and improve the bottom line of our business thanks to the commitment and hard work of our over 100,000 associates...We exceeded our profitability expectations."
Ellison said JC Penney was "excited" about the company's initiatives to boost growth in the next half of the year, which include the unveiling of new appliances, new locations for Sephora and the plans to give customers the option to order products online and pick them up in store on the same day.
These plans and others would help the company achieve an expected Ebitda of $1bn in 2016, Ellison said.