Hudson's Bay shares jump on upbeat sales forecast

Tue Apr 7, 2015 12:11pm EDT
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By Solarina Ho

(Reuters) - Retailer Hudson's Bay Co (HBC.TO: Quote) forecast higher-than-expected sales for the coming year on Tuesday, saying it will benefit from robust online demand and strong growth at its Saks Fifth Avenue and OFF 5th stores.

Shares in the Canadian-U.S. department store operator hit a record high following the news, jumping as much as 8.2 percent to C$29.00 in Toronto.

HBC acquired Saks in 2013 for $2.4 billion, and its inclusion in HBC's results has been a profit driver as have improvements at its other retail banners, company executives told analysts during a conference call.

The company said it will open its first two Canadian Saks stores in the spring of 2016 as well as its first Canadian OFF 5th stores.

HBC, whose roots in Canada date back to 1670, also owns U.S. department store chain Lord & Taylor, Hudson's Bay department stores in Canada, and Canadian house wares chain Home Outfitters.

Executives expressed interest in luxury-retail acquisitions, but told analysts that while HBC has the financial means for a deal, it is taking a conservative approach.

"We are always looking for the right type of transaction and one that's going to be economically favorable to us," Executive Chairman Richard Baker said.

Earlier this year, HBC said it was forming two real estate joint ventures - one with U.S.-based Simon Property Group Inc (SPG.N: Quote) and one with Canada's RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (REI_u.TO: Quote) - in a deal that would cut its debt by roughly C$1.1 billion ($880 million) and pave the way for an initial public offering of the ventures, or an alternative transaction. [ID:nL1N0VZ0V9]   Continued...

A woman holds a Hudson's Bay shopping bag in front of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) flagship department store in Toronto January 27, 2014.   REUTERS/Mark Blinch