Taxes, expenses push up Toys ‘R’ Us Q1 loss, but sales improve

Wayne, N.J. — Toys “R” Us reported a net loss of $196 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, up from a $111 million net loss in the year-ago period, amid a decrease in income tax benefit and  rise in expenses that included investments in e-commerce and U.S. store maintenance. But the struggling retailer saw its sales improve.

Total sales for the quarter rose 2.9% to $2.48  billion,  up from $2.41 billion in the same quarter of 2013.  Domestic same-store sales improved 4%.

Antonio Urcelay, chairman and CEO, Toys ‘R Us, said the company is working on its pricing and promotions strategies.

“We are pleased to have delivered positive comparable store net sales results in both our U.S. and International segments during the first quarter of the year,” Urcelay said. “As we continue to work to improve operating margins, we have begun the process of developing a clearer pricing strategy, while simplifying and optimizing our promotional offerings.”

Urcelay said the retailer has begun "an aggressive inventory clearance effort" in the United States  to make way for new products for the 2014 holiday season and improve inventory turns.

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