Fred’s Q3 Sales Down But Net Loss Shrinks

Third quarter sales at Fred’s were down 5.5% but the company reported a smaller year-over-year net loss.

For the three month period ended November 3, net sales were $306.4 billion, down from net sales of $324.3 million in the comparable quarter the previous year. Comparable store sales were down 5.3%. Net loss from continuing operations was $30.8 million, or $0.83 per share, compared to a loss of $50.4 million, or $1.35 per share, in Q3 2017.

Joe Anto, Fred’s Interim CEO and CFO, said the company continues to evaluate potential opportunities to monetize its non-core assets including its retail pharmacy script portfolio as well as its real estate.

“There is still much work to be done with regards to our operations,” he said. “We are continuing to execute against our turnaround plan, with a focus on bringing in talent, optimizing our cost structure and improving the front store business.”

Fred’s net sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2018 decreased 5.9% to $964.7 million from $1,025 million in the same period of fiscal 2017. Comparable store sales were down 4.9%. Decreases occurred in general merchandise departments such as home furnishings, domestics, electronics and health and beauty products, partially offset by sales increases in beverages and tobacco.

For the first nine months, Fred’s reported a net loss from continuing operations of approximately $69.9 million, or $1.91 per share, compared to a net loss of $119.2 million, or $3.18 per share, in the first nine months of 2017.