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First-Quarter Profit Falls 12.5% at Sears, Roebuck

Sears, Roebuck & Co. said its first-quarter profit fell by 12.5% from that of a year ago, to $195.3 million from $223.3 million.

However, revenue for the nation’s largest retailer increased by 7.1% to $9.93 billion from $8.77 billion.

The first quarter typically has a low income-to-sales ratio, said Edward A. Brennan, chairman and chief executive. This is because sales are usually at their lowest during the first three months, while most costs are fixed and remain relatively high.

Income by the company’s merchandise group declined to $42.1 million from $76.5 million, reflecting “generally flat sales in a highly competitive retail environment,” Sears said in a statement. Revenue slipped slightly to $5.46 billion from $5.50 billion.

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