Department store operator Dillard's Inc on Wednesday reported a 5 per cent drop in second quarter sales.

Sales for the 13 weeks ended 2 August 2003 were $1.7 billion compared to $1.8 billion in the same quarter last year. Same-store sales also fell 5 per cent.

The Little Rock, Arkansas-based company said net loss was $50.4 million for the quarter compared with net income of $6.7 million in the prior year. The 2003 quarter included one-time charges for store closings and debt-related items.

Sales for the 26 week period were $3.5 billion compared to $3.7 billion for the first half last year - a decrease of 5 per cent. Likewise, same-stores sales were down 5 per cent.