Third-quarter profits at Sears Canada dropped nearly 60 per cent as the department store retailer continued to convert and close its Eatons outlets.

Net earnings were $7.3 million compared with $17.9 million, while revenue for the 13 weeks ended 28 September fell 6.4 per cent to $1.48 billion, down from $1.58 billion a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, operating profit rose to $10.2 million from a year-ago loss of $4.8 million.

Commenting on this, Mark Cohen, chairman and CEO, said: "Our ongoing focus on increased and sustained profitability through gross margin improvement, expense control and inventory management enabled us to deliver an outstanding bottom-line performance in the quarter."

For the nine-month period, the retailer posted a loss of $91.2 million compared with a profit of $15.5 million the previous year. Revenues for the nine months totalled $4.48 billion, down 2.4 per cent from $4.59 billion a year ago.