Weather bites into Bon-Ton Q1 results

York, Pa. – Adverse weather that lasted longer into the first quarter of fiscal 2014 than anticipated bit into income and sales at The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. Net loss grew to $31.5 million from $26.6 million a year earlier, and net sales dropped 6% to $607.46 million from $647.9 million.

Same-store sales declined 5.8%. In addition to weather, the extinguishment of mortgage and senior note redemption debt also contributed to net loss growth.

“We forecasted our first quarter sales to reflect weather challenges, but the prolonged adverse conditions resulted in a financial performance below our expectations,” said Brendan Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Bon-Ton. “We saw an improvement in sales performance mid-April as the weather became more seasonal and traffic trends improved dramatically. Despite our shortfall in sales, we were able to achieve a higher gross margin rate, control expenses and effectively manage our inventory such that we ended the quarter with retail inventory levels 1.7% below that of the prior year on a comparable store basis.”

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