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Toys R Us Reports $18 Million 1st Qtr. Loss

21 May, 2001 By: Hive News

Toys R Us reported a larger than expected first-quarter loss for the first quarter, citing store remodeling and staff training costs combined with a weak economy.

For the three months ended May 5, the nation's second largest toy retailer lost $18 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with a profit of $215 million, or 6 centsper share, in the same quarter last year.

Analysts expected a loss of 6 cents per share.

The year-ago results included a pre-tax gain of $315 million, resulting from the initial public offering ofToys R Us Japan. Excluding this one-time gain, the company reported net income of $15 million, or 6 cents per share, for the period.

Net sales were $2.1 billion in the first quarter, down from $2.3 billion in the previous year.

John Eyler, president and c.e.o., repeated the company's March warning that the company's attempts to improve customer service and remodel about 90 stores would lower its performance during the first three quarters of 2001.

"We are confident." he added, "that the improvements being made will deliver substantial benefits to Toys R Us by this year's more important holiday season and will allow us to better grow and enhance our business.''

Analysts expect per-share losses of 3 cents and 2 cents in the next two quarters.

Same-store sales were down 2%, partly due to disruptions caused by remodeling. Eyler added that same-store sales at stores open at least a year have shown continued to show improvement since January. The company previously announced that about 250 stores in the U.S. would be remodeled this year.

Sales at Toysrus.com more than tripled to $29 million, compared to $8 million for the year-ago period.

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