February 27, 2008 / 2:13 PM / 10 years ago

Sears Canada posts higher fourth-quarter profit

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Sears Canada SCC.TO, the country’s second biggest retailer, said on Wednesday that fourth-quarter profit adjusted to compare similar periods increased 8.5 percent over last year.

The company, which has changed its fiscal year end to the last Saturday in January from the last Saturday in December, is reporting an 18-week fourth quarter versus a 13-week period in 2006.

Adjusted to compare a 13-week period ended December 29 2007, Sears Canada said that revenue fell 3.4 percent and same-store sales declined 2.4 percent.

Gross margin, as a percentage of revenue, increased 159 basis points for this comparable period and expenses were flat. The resulting operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose by more than C$21 million, or 10.9 percent, it said.

Quarterly net profit for the 18 weeks ended February 2, 2007 rose to C$138.4 million after tax, or C$1.29 per share. That compares with a profit of C$108.5 million, or C$1.01 per share, for the 13 weeks ended December 30, 2006.

Revenue for the 18 weeks was C$2.3 billion compared with C$1.87 billion for the 13-week period in 2006.

($1=$0.98 Canadian)

Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Scott Anderson

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