Sears reports higher net income on lower sales

In other news, the retailer successfully amended and extended a credit facility to provide $4.1 billion in financing through March 24, 2010 and $2.4 billion from March 25, 2010 through June 2012, with the option to use existing collateral to obtain up to $1.0 billion of additional capacity subsequent to March 2010 through an accordion feature.

"In this challenging economic environment we are pleased with the progress we have made in improving our gross margin rate, controlling inventories and further reducing our cost structure," says W. Bruce Johnson, Sears Holdings’ interim chief executive officer and president. "Our efforts had a clear impact on our overall results as both net income attributable to holdings’ shareholders and Adjusted EBITDA increased significantly during the first quarter as compared to last year."

Domestic comparable store sales declined 7.4 percent in the aggregate, with Sears Domestic comparable store sales declining 11.7 percent and Kmart comparable store sales declining 2.1 percent for the quarter. The decline at Sears Domestic continues to be driven by categories directly impacted by housing market conditions (including the home appliances, lawn and garden and tools categories) and lower apparel sales. The decline in comparable store sales at Kmart was driven by a decline in apparel and was partially offset by an increase in sales of home electronics and the impact of assuming the operations of its footwear business from a third party effective January, 2009.