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Carter Hawley Losses Grow in 1st Quarter

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Carter Hawley Hale Stores, the Los Angeles-based retailer that owns the Broadway department store chain, said Tuesday that its losses for the first quarter deepened to $14.9 million, compared to $13.9 million for the period a year-ago.

The quarterly figures for both years, however, reflected numerous one-time charges and gains, including the sale of its Richmond, Va.-based Thalhimers department store division, which was completed last week. Excluding these extraordinary items, Carter Hawley Hale would have reported a loss of $5.7 million for the three-month period ending Nov. 1, compared to a loss of $3.4 million a year ago.

“They are basically retrenching,” said retail industry analyst Monroe H. Greenstein at Bear, Stearns & Co. in New York.

The first quarter of fiscal 1991 reflects the $30-million gain on the sale of the Thalhimers division to St. Louis-based May Department Stores. That one-time gain was more than offset by a $6.2-million after-tax charge related to the early retirement of debt and an additional $35 million to cover the cost of a plan to streamline and consolidate Carter’s remaining operations--which include 88 stores--in the Western United States. Carter Hawley Hale says the plans should result in $50 million in savings annually.

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First-quarter sales, excluding Thalhimers, rose $566.3 million in fiscal 1991 from $558.2 million. Carter Hawley Hale owns the Broadway-Southern California, the Broadway-Southwest, Emporium and Weinstocks.

Analysts expect Carter Hawley Hale to return to profitability during the current quarter--which includes the important holiday shopping season--but fail to meet last year’s profit levels. Edward F. Johnson, an industry analyst with the brokerage firm Prescott, Ball & Turben, projects second-quarter profit from continuing operations to be halved from the year-ago-period to about $5.9 million.


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