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JC Penney defies market with Q2 comps, core earnings rise, ebitda to top $1bn for year


JC Penney confounded many of its rivals in the beleaguered US department store sector Friday with a comps gain and strong operating earnings. Expect full-year core earnings to top $1bn, it said.

Q2 same-store sales increased 2.2% and its net loss improved 52% to a loss of $56m. Operating profit rose 59%, or by $85m, to $229m for the quarter.

Gross margin was 37.1 % of sales, a 10 basis-point improvement on a year ago.

For the quarter, Sephora, Home, Footwear and Handbags were its top performing divisions.

Geographically, the Ohio Valley and Pacific were the best performing regions.

CEO Marvin Ellison said: “We are pleased with the sequential improvement we achieved throughout the second quarter, and our solid performance across all key metrics is encouraging.

“We are continuing to win market share and improve the bottom line of our business thanks to the commitment and hard work of our over 100,000 associates,” he added.

Ellison continued: “We are excited about the initiatives we have in place to drive incremental growth in the back half of the year” citing appliance rollouts, new Sephora locations, centre core refreshes, in-store .com fulfillment and chain-wide rollout of same-day click & collect.

“These and other initiatives reinforce our confidence in our ability to achieve $1bn in ebitda for 2016”, reaffirming its 2016.

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