Retail group Hudson's Bay Co has posted a third quarter profit of CAN$8.6 million, up 11 per cent from the same period a year ago but below company forecasts.

The Toronto-based retailer, which operates the Bay, Home Outfitters and Zellers chains, also reported stagnant quarterly sales of CAN$1.7 billion.

The company attributed the mixed results to August's power blackout in Ontario, which hurt sales at fashion-oriented Bay stores.

"In an emergency, people are more interested in what they need than what they want," CEO George Heller said.

"They're not worried about having the latest fashion as much as they're worried about having flashlights and batteries."