Neiman Marcus same-store sales fall for first time in six years

(Reuters) - U.S. luxury fashion retailer Neiman Marcus Group Ltd LLC [NMRCUS.UL] swung to a quarterly loss from a profit a year ago and reported its first drop in same-store sales in six years, the latest blip in the company’s roadmap to going public again.

Shoppers browse at Neiman Marcus at The Plaza, King of Prussia Mall, United State's largest retail shopping space, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on December 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Makela

Neiman Marcus had in August filed for an initial public offering. Reuters reported in October that the IPO had been pushed back to 2016 due to volatile stock markets.

The company, owned by private equity firm Ares Management LP ARES.N and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, reported a net loss of $10.5 million for the first quarter ended Oct. 31, compared to a net income of $196,000 last year.

Total revenue fell 1.8 percent to $1.16 billion. Same-store sales declined 5.6 percent, the first fall after 23 quarters of rising sales. The Dallas, Texas-based company did not provide additional details about its results in its statement.

“The financials don’t look promising,” Francis Gaskins, president of research firm IPO Desktop said.

But Gaskins said the results should not scupper Neiman Marcus’s IPO plans as the company’s private equity sponsors wanted to exit the company, which is loaded with debt.

Neiman Marcus's weak results for the quarter follows disappointing results and forecasts from other retailers, including Nordstrom Inc JWN.N and Macy's Inc M.N, amid concerns of a slowdown in the retail sector.

Neiman Marcus had in September reported a drop in profit for the fourth quarter, the first quarterly results it posted after it filed for an IPO.

But, Neiman Marcus also has its own set of issues to deal with.

The company’s website suffered an outage on the crucial Black Friday recently, leaving shoppers empty-handed.

(The story has been refiled to correct to “fall” from “falls” in headline.)

Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza