Hudson's Bay Co.'s financial performance continues to deteriorate, with a $41-million quarterly loss reported yesterday that prompted some analysts to wonder whether the Canadian retailing institution will ever get its house in order.
The country's oldest merchant, which has been considered to be a potential takeover target, attributed its poor first-quarter results to a number of unusual factors, including a restructuring charge, the closing of some of its Zellers stores and a computer systems snag. The company also pointed to higher costs and tighter profit margins, although it said the costs should be offset in the rest of the year. The systems problems, tied to selling furniture and appliances, will mostly be ironed out in the second quarter and ultimately help boost the bottom line by the end of the year, it said.
"All in all, the quarter was kind of mixed," George Heller, president and chief executive officer at HBC, told analysts during a conference call. "We don't take any pride in the bottom line..”.
Or put it in plain speak - HBC practically doubled its first quarter loss.