Sears sales fall as bosses warn they have no clue when department store group will return to profit

 
Francesca Washtell
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Sears Posts Higher Than Expected Quarterly Profit
Sears is headquartered in Chicago (Source: Getty)

US department store chain Sears reported its fifth consecutive quarterly loss today and warned investors it cannot guarantee when it will return to profitability.

Total revenue at the retailer fell 14.3 per cent to $5bn (£4bn) in the third quarter, down from $5.8bn in the same period of last year. The drop was driven by lower demand at its Kmart and Sears outlets.

Sears’ net loss swelled to $748m, or $6.99 per share. In the third quarter of 2015 its loss came in at $454m, or $4.26 per share.

Read more: Losses mount at US department store Sears

“We cannot guarantee when we will return to profitability, but it is our intention to do so as soon as possible,” chief financial officer Jason Hollar said in a presentation.

To trim costs further Sears said it will seek alternatives for its real estate portfolio and home services business, among other areas. It has already reduced the size of its pharmacy business to try and streamline its outgoings.

Read more: Sears is exploring options for two businesses as revenue continues to fall

Sears has not posted an increase in quarterly sales for five years and is heading towards its seventh year in the red. It was once the largest US retailer, but has struggled as retail shopping has moved online.

The group's share price was up more than five per cent in US afternoon trading, to $12.74.

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