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Sears Q2 Sales Dip 1%, Majaps Lauded

7/23/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Heralding "strong growth" in major appliances, contrasted with "decreases" in electronics and air conditioners, Sears, Roebuck and Co. reported retail sales for the second quarter that were 1.1 percent below the same quarter in 2000.

Retail revenues were $7.80 billion in the three months, compared with $7.89 billion in the year-ago period. Retail operating income was $213 million in the second quarter ended June 30, down from the $225 million reported in the same three months in 2000.

"The difficult economic environment and cooler-than-anticipated weather negatively impacted both our hardlines and softlines businesses within the full-line stores," said Alan J. Lacy, chairman/CEO. "In hardlines, we experienced strong growth in major appliances and solid growth in lawn and garden sales, offset by decreases in electronics, home office, air conditioners and seasonal sporting goods."

For the six months, retail revenues were relatively flat, coming in at $14.61 billion for the period, compared with $14.72 billion in the same six months in 2000. Retail operating income was $157 million for the six months, compared with $246 million in the year-ago period.

Revenues for merchandise sales and services at Sears dipped less than 1 percent to $8.88 billion in the second quarter, down from $8.90 billion in the same three months last year.

However, the company reported an overall net loss of $197 million, compared with a gain of $388 million in the same quarter in 2000.

For the six months, merchandise sales and services revenues were flat, hitting $16.63 billion, compared with $16.64 billion in the same period last year.

Sears reported an overall net loss of $21 million for the six months, compared with a $623 million gain in the same half in 2000.

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