(Reuters) - Canadian department store operator Hudson’s Bay Co (HBC.TO) said sales in its first quarter have been below its expectations so far and added that growth would slow down for the full year as a late onset of spring hit sales at its Lord & Taylor’s stores in the United States.
The company expects sales to rise 1.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2013. Sales rose 5.9 percent to C$4.0 billion ($3.94 billion) last year.
In the fourth quarter ended February 2, sales rose 6.7 percent to C$1.39 billion.
The company’s net income from continuing operations fell to C$93.6 million, or 81 Canadian cents per share, from C$99.2 million, or 95 Canadian cents, a year earlier.
Same-store sales rose 6.1 percent at the company’s namesake Canadian stores but fell 2.9 percent in the United States as superstorm Sandy hampered sales at Lord & Taylor stores.
Earlier this year, the company reported that growth in its established department store chains slowed during the first two months of the quarter, which included the holiday shopping season.
The company, which expects a stronger second half, forecast same-store sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent in 2013. Same-store sales rose 4 percent last year.
For 2013, Hudson’s Bay set aside capital expenditure of C$175 million to C$185 million.
Hudson’s Bay shares have fallen 13 percent since their listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange in November, in part due to worries that U.S. retailer Target Corp’s (TGT.N) Canadian entry this year would not bode well for the company.
Hudson’s Bay shares closed at C$14.75 on Wednesday. ($1 = 1.0146 Canadian dollars)
Reporting by Krithika Krishnamurthy and Solarina Ho; Editing by Don Sebastian