• Q3 net losses narrowed to $10.1m
  • Sales up 1.9% to $668.7m
  • Gross margin down to 36.6%

US department store operator Bon-Ton Stores has seen its third-quarter net losses narrow after efforts to improve merchandise helped lift sales.

Net loss narrowed to US$10.1m during the 13 weeks to 27 October, compared to $22m last year. Operating income increased to $10.8m against $500,000 profit the prior year.

Sales climbed 1.9% to $668.7m, while comparable store sales also edged up 1.9%. But gross margin reached 36.6% compared to 37.4% the same period last year due to higher markdowns and delivery expenses.

President and CEO Brendan Hoffman said: "We believe that our third quarter results reflect progress made as a result of initiatives we have been implementing throughout the year, including a better-balanced merchandise assortment, refined marketing efforts, our 'Customer First' shopping experience, and expense management."