Department store retailer Bon-Ton Stores has widened its quarterly loss despite almost tripled revenue during the same period.

Third-quarter loss totalled US$10.9m compared to a loss of $6.3m a year ago, hurt by an income tax charge of about $0.10 per share relating to a $1.7m reduction in the income tax benefit associated with tax planning strategies initiated by the company in the quarter.

The strategies are expected to reduce the company's effective income tax rate going forward.

Revenue was $827m during the period compared to $287.8m last year, representing a leap of 181%. This included $537m from the Carson Pirie Scott stores the company recently bought from Saks. Bon-Ton same-store sales fell 4.8%.

The company reported a net loss of $41.5m for the 39 weeks ended 28 October 2006 compared to a net loss of $12.2m for the comparable period last year.

Year-to-date total sales increased 157% to $2.11m compared to $822.6m for the same period last year. Year-to-date Bon-Ton same-store sales decreased 1%.

President and CEO Bud Bergren said: "We are pleased with our third-quarter results and our progress in integrating the Bon-Ton and Carson's operations, as we succeeded in meeting key milestones during the third quarter.

"We completed phase I of the systems integration and a significant portion of phase II, permitting a single view of our operations and reducing dependency on the transition services agreement with Saks."

Bergren added that there had been less discounting at Bon-Ton/Elder-Beerman stores. "While this strategy negatively impacted sales, gross margin rate improved," he said.