Saks cuts Q2 loss

NEW YORK — Saks Inc. reported a second-quarter net loss of $8.4 million, or 5 cents per diluted share. For last year’s second quarter, the company posted a net loss of $32.2 million, or 21 cents per share. 

Revenue rose 13% to $670.2 million from $593.1 million, beating Wall Street's $657.4 million. Same-store sales surged 15.5%, surpassing Saks' expectations.

Stephen Sadove, chairman and CEO of the company, noted, “I am very pleased with the significant improvement in our operating performance for the second quarter and six months ended July 30, 2011 which resulted from strong comparable-store sales growth, continued gross margin rate expansion, and meaningful SG&A leverage.”

Saks said its strongest categories for the quarter included women’s apparel, women’s shoes, men’s apparel, and men’s accessories. 

Sadove noted, “Through the second quarter, our customers remained confident and continued to respond to our differentiated merchandise, service initiatives, and creative marketing. With the recent increased volatility and downturn in the financial markets and the overall uncertainty in the macroeconomic environment, we are approaching the fall season a bit more cautiously and will continue to be very strategic with our expense, capital, and inventory spending, making investments in areas with the most potential for profitable growth.”

Saks said it now expects same-store sales growth in the mid-to-high single digit range in the second half of the fiscal year.