UPDATE 1-Bon-Ton’s Q1 loss narrows; ups FY profit view

* Q1 loss $1.33/share vs loss $2.67/shr, a year ago * Q1
sales rise 3 pct * Gross margin rate increases by 260 basis
points

* Raises FY profit view by 50 cents to $0.80-$1.60

May 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Bon-Ton Stores Inc (BONT.O: ) reported a
narrower quarterly loss, as astute inventory management boosted
margins, and the department store operator raised its earnings
view for the year.

For 2010, the company, which runs the Elder-Beerman, Boston
Store and Carson Pirie Scott chains, now expects to earn 80
cents a share to $1.60 a share. It had earlier forecast a
profit of 30 cents a share to $1.10 a share.

Bon-Ton, which has kept a tight lid on costs and
inventories to offset sales declines, has been growing its
higher-margin, private-label business, which includes brands
like Breckenridge, Living Quarters and Miss Attitude.

For the first quarter ended May 1, net loss narrowed to
$23.5 million, or $1.33 a share, from $45.4 million, or $2.67 a
share, a year ago.

Sales rose 3 percent to $661.4 million. Same-store sales
also rose 3 percent.

Gross margin increased by 260 basis points to 37.4 percent,
as the company ended the quarter with clearance inventory down
14 percent on a comparable basis.

Shares of the York, Pennsylvania-based company closed at
$13.90 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Viraj Nair in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad
Kakkrakandy) (([email protected]; within U.S. +1
646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging:
[email protected]))

UPDATE 1-Bon-Ton’s Q1 loss narrows; ups FY profit view