Duckwall-ALCO 1Q Loss Widens

Abilene, Kan. Duckwall-ALCO Stores Inc. on Thursday said its fiscal first-quarter loss widened, as revenue stayed flat while expenses increased.

The loss for the quarter ended May 4 totaled $5.9 million compared with a loss of $2.2 million in the prior-year quarter.

Revenue fell less than 1% to $106 million from $106.3 million a year ago. Meanwhile, same-store sales fell 8.4% during the quarter.

Expenses increased due to severance charges, higher real-property rent and new-store openings, partly offset by lower stock-option expenses and lower supply costs.

During the quarter, the company cut 27 staffers at its headquarters and four executives in a streamlining move.

In March, chairman Warren H. Gfeller and director Robert L. Ring resigned from the board as part of a resolution of a threatened proxy fight between the company and a large shareholder. President and CEO Bruce Dale also resigned.

Donny Johnson, interim president and CEO, said in a statement that the quarter was a "time for very significant changes," but added the company expects stronger sales and lower expenses for the rest of fiscal 2009.

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