Borders Narrows Loss for 2Q
Ann Arbor, Mich. Borders Group Inc. narrowed its losses and slashed its debt during the second quarter, but continued to see sales slow as consumers limited their discretionary spending.
The company said it lost $9.2 million for the quarter ending Aug. 2 compared with a loss of $25.1 million for the same quarter of last year.
The company also said that it lost $11.3 million from its continuing operations, compared with a loss of $18.1 million last year. Meanwhile, total revenue fell to $758.5 million from $812.4 million.
Borders said same-store sales for the quarter fell 8.9%, due in part to the release of a book in the Harry Potter series last year and current declines in music sales. Excluding Harry Potter and music sales, same-store sales fell by 3% for the quarter.
Borders did benefit during the quarter from some big-title releases and the sale of its business unit for Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, which was valued at $87.9 million. The company recorded an after-tax gain of $2.6 million from the sale.
The company said it used the sale of the foreign business unit to help reduce its debt by 37%, or $272.7 million, for the quarter.
The company also took a number of inventory and cost-control steps during the quarter, improving its operating cash flow by $195.7 million.
Borders made several other changes during the quarter as part of its restructuring, including opening four new Borders superstores in the United States and bringing its Web site, which generated $7.4 million in sales during the quarter, in house.
J.M. Smucker announces new promotions
ORRVILLE, Ohio The J.M. Smucker Company has announced several promotions.
Timothy Smucker’s title has been changed from chairman and co-ceo to chairman of the board and co-ceo.
Richard Smucker’s title has been changed from president and co-ceo to executive chairman and co-ceo. He will also continue in his capacity as president of the company.
Vincent Byrd was promoted from senior vp of its consumer business to president of the newly created coffee strategic business area (SBA).
Steven Oakland was promoted to president of the consumer business.
Mark Smucker has been promoted to president of the special markets SBA which includes the company’s foodservice and beverage groups as well as its Canadian and international operations after serving as vp of international. Smucker has been with the company for 11 years.
Paul Smucker Wagstaff, also great-great grandson of founder Jerome Smucker, has been promoted from vp of foodservice and beverage markets to president of the oils and baking SBA. Wagstaff has been with Smucker for 12 years.
Barry Dunaway, formerly vp of corporate development, has been named senior vp of the newly created corporate and organization development office with combined responsibility for mergers/acquisitions and human resources.
La-Z-Boy elects directors
MONROE, Mich. La-Z-Boy announced that its shareholders have elected directors Kurt Darrow, James Johnston, George Levy, M.D. and Alan McCollough to three-year terms on the company’s board of directors.
Shareholders also voted to ratify the selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal 2009.