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Dillard's reports 2Q net loss of $26 million.

Dillard's Inc. lost about $26 million during its second quarter, down from a loss of $50.4 million during the same quarter last year but greater than analysts' expectations.

The loss of 31 cents a share was greater than a Reuters Estimates consensus of 18 cents a share, according to Meanwhile, Thomson First Call analysts had expected a loss of 16 cents a share.

Total revenue was $1.67 billion, down 2.9 percent from $1.72 billion.

The department store chain said it improved gross margin performance by 30 basis points and that inventory declined by 2 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The company also decreased advertising, selling, general and administrative expenses by $7.7 million.

Dillard's also outlined steps it is taking to improve its merchandise mix to set itself apart from competitors. It said it would:

* Introduce new, "younger-focused" and more upscale national brands.

* Increase storewide penetration of private-label brands, emphasizing fashion-forward and upscale exclusive brands.

* Eliminate or de-emphasize brands that are not performing well.

* Fine-tune merchandise mix by store local; " tion to meet local needs.
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Title Annotation:Public Company Reports
Comment:Dillard's reports 2Q net loss of $26 million.(Public Company Reports)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 23, 2004
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