February 22, 2012 / 2:12 PM / in 6 years

Sears Canada profit falls on lower sales

TORONTO (Reuters) - Sears Canada Inc SCC.TO reported a more than 50 percent drop in quarterly earnings on Wednesday as sales tumbled.

The department store chain, majority-owned by Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O), said sales at established stores, a key measure for retailers, fell 7.4 percent in the quarter ended January 29, and 7.5 percent in the fiscal year.

“While we are disappointed with our performance for 2011, including the fourth quarter, we believe we have begun to stabilize the business,” said Chief Executive Calvin McDonald in a statement.

Net earnings fell to C$38.7 million, or 36 Canadian cents a share, from C$82.7 million, or 77 Canadian cents a share, a year ago. Revenue fell 6 percent to C$1.37 billion.

Last week the company said it had cut regular prices for more than 5,000 products, part of a “transformation” to help it compete more effectively.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s (WMT.N) aggressive expansion in Canada and Target Corp’s (TGT.N) planned 2013 entry have put pressure on Canadian retailers.

Sears Holdings, which owns 94.7 percent of Sears Canada according to Thomson Reuters data, has also been struggling with falling sales. In December it said it would close 100 to 120 of its 3,5000 U.S. stores.

Reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Shounak Dasgupta in Bangalore

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