Kmart's gains offset by Sears declines in Q4

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Mass merchandiser Kmart had sales of $4.99 billion during fourth quarter 2010 and $15.6 billion for the year as a whole, according to an earnings statement released Thursday by parent company Sears Holdings.

The sales for the quarter, which ended Jan. 29, were a slight improvement over fourth quarter 2009 sales of $4.92 billion, while the annual sales represented a decline in dollar terms from 2009’s $15.74 billion. Comparable-store sales for the year increased in percentage terms, by 0.7%, while quarterly sales increased by 2.5%.

The chain said the increase in comparable-store sales resulted from increases in clothing and footwear, jewelry, toys and sporting goods, partially offset by declines in pharmacy, food and consumables.

Still, Kmart’s gains were offset by declines at Sears stores, which took overall sales down to $13.1 billion for the quarter and $43.3 billion for the year, compared with $13.3 billion in fourth quarter 2009 and $44 billion in fiscal year 2009.

The company’s profits for the quarter were down nearly 15% to $374 million, compared with the year-ago period. Profits for the year also fell, totaling $133 million, compared with $235 million in 2009. Quarterly profits were larger than annual profits due to being offset by losses in previous quarters.