Hudson's Bay posts smaller loss as Canadian sales rise

TORONTO Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:21am EDT

A Hudson's Bay Company sign is seen on a store in downtown Ottawa July 16, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

A Hudson's Bay Company sign is seen on a store in downtown Ottawa July 16, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie

TORONTO (Reuters) - Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC.TO) reported a smaller quarterly loss on Wednesday as strength at its namesake chain partly offset a weather-related drop in same-store sales at its Lord & Taylor U.S. chain.

Shares of Toronto-based HBC rose as much as 4.9 percent on the news and were up 3.3 percent at C$16.70 in mid-morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The shares have struggled since the company's initial public offering in November, in part due to concern about competition from Target Corp. (TGT.N)

HBC's loss narrowed to 12 Canadian cents per share, excluding special items, in the first quarter ended May 4, from 22 Canadian cents a year earlier.

Analysts had been expecting a smaller loss of 9 Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, but the retailer beat revenue forecasts of C$863.6 million.

HBC said consolidated sales rose 4.2 percent to C$884.0 million. Same-store sales, for stores open at least 13 months, increased 4 percent, with an increase of 7.6 percent at Hudson's Bay and a decline of 1.4 percent at Lord & Taylor on a U.S. dollar basis.

The company revised its guidance on its consolidated tax rate during a conference call with analysts. It said the new rate would be between 27 percent and 29 percent for 2013, revised from between 29 an 31 percent.

HBC said its previous guidance for the year remained unchanged. That includes a total sales increase of 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent and same-store sales growth of 3 to 5 percent.

(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins and Solarina Ho; Editing by Dan Grebler)