Q4, Yearly Net Income At Sears Holdings Rises

Fourth quarter net income at Sears Holdings increased sharply as tcompany officials said the improvement reflects the company’s efforts to better meet the needs of its shoppers.

Net income for the quarter was $430 million in 2009 compared to $190 million for the comparable quarter in 2008. For the year net income was $235 million compared to net income of $53 million for 2008.

Total revenues for the quarter decreased $33 million to $13.2 billion for the quarter ended January 30.  Full year fiscal 2009 total revenues decreased $2.8 billion to $44.0 billion.  The decreases were primarily due to lower comparable store sales and 62 fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores.

"We continued to make progress in improving our performance in the fourth quarter, as Kmart comparable store sales increased for the second straight quarter and domestic Adjusted EBITDA increased over last year. Our improved performance is especially encouraging given the challenging economic environment, particularly related to big-ticket items," said W. Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim chief executive officer and president.

For the quarter, domestic comparable store sales declined 2.5%, and included an increase at Kmart of 1.7%, offset by a decline at Sears Domestic of 6.1%.  For the year, domestic comparable store sales declined 5.1%, and included a slight decline at Kmart of 0.8% and a decline at Sears Domestic of 8.7%. 

The Kmart quarterly increase in comparable store sales was primarily driven by increases in the toys and home categories, partially offset by a decline in the apparel category.  The quarter and the year also benefited from the impact of assuming the operations of its footwear business from a third party effective January 2009.  Declines in sales for the quarter and year at Sears Domestic include decreases in the home appliance, lawn and garden, and home electronics categories. 

The company closed 27 underperforming stores during the fourth quarter of 2009 and 62 stores during the fiscal year 2009.