* EPS C$0.11 vs C$0.26
* Sales rise 1.5 pct to C$231.7 mln
* Same store sales drop 0.8 pct
* Shares down 3.6 pct at C$11.76
TORONTO, June 3 (Reuters) - Reitmans (Canada) Ltd (RET.TO) reported a 58 percent drop in first-quarter profit on Wednesday as consumers cut back spending in the economic downturn.
The Montreal-based women’s clothing retailer, whose banners include Reitmans, Smart Set and Penningtons, said it earned C$7.8 million, or 11 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter ended May 2, down from C$18.4 million, or 26 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.
Overall sales rose 1.5 percent to C$231.7 million. However same store sales — the performance of stores open for at least a year — slid 0.8 percent.
Reitmans blamed the softer same store sales on the weak economy as consumers cut back on discretionary spending.
$1=$1.10 Canadian Reporting by Scott Anderson; editing by Rob Wilson