Sears Canada gives big payout, one-time charge widens loss

Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:07am EST
 
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(Reuters) - Struggling department store chain Sears Canada Inc (SCC.TO: Quote) is set to give a big payout to shareholders despite a bigger quarterly loss due to one-time charges related to restructuring and asset impairment.

Sears Canada shares rose as much as 18 percent on Tuesday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the company announced the special dividend and reported its first rise in quarterly same-store sales since 2008.

The company is in the middle of a three-year turnaround plan, introduced in 2012 to boost sales and reclaim market share at a time when U.S. retailers such as Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote) are building up their presence in Canada.

The special dividend payment of C$5 per share, or C$509 million, reflected gains from recent asset sales and was largely expected by analysts.

The dividend will be payable on December 6 to shareholders of record as of December 2.

Sears Canada, 51 percent-owned by Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O: Quote), closed stores, sold real estate and shed assets in the third quarter ended November 2.

Excluding one-time charges, the company's expenses fell by 8.6 percent in the three months.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization nearly doubled to $7.3 million.

Sales rose 1.2 percent at established stores, helped by strong sales of apparel, accessories and home products.   Continued...

 
A customer enters the closing down Sears store is shown in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia September13, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Clark