• Q2 net income US$14m
  • Total sales decline slightly
  • Same-store sales up 0.9%

US department store chain JC Penney Company has swung into a second quarter profit following its US$1m net loss in the same period last year, despite sloping sales.

Total sales for the quarter were $3,938, down 0.1% on the same period last year, it said, but the company's strongest merchandise results were in men’s apparel and women’s accessories.

Myron Ullman, III, JC Penney CEO, said: "Our focus on operating excellence allowed us to deliver improved profitability in the first half. Moreover, since the beginning of the year, we have been making changes in our merchandise assortments, introducing new brands and offering better style than ever before, in order to increase top line sales.

"The success of these initiatives, like our “wear now” strategy, was evident in our performance during the important appointment shopping periods and by the solid growth in profitable sales, particularly in regular and promotional priced merchandise throughout the second quarter. This strength was partially offset, however, in the final weeks of the quarter, by the non-comparable and short-term impact of tactical changes we are making in our clearance and catalog selling strategies. Over time, we are confident that these changes will position us to drive even higher levels of profitable sales."

Click here to view the retailer's full quarterly statement.